Thursday, January 25, 2018

Whither Conservative Merger Policy?

by Joshua D. Wright January 24, 2018
 
Trump’s antitrust authorities have given us little cause for optimism. When President Trump was first voted into office, there was significant speculation as to what changes we could expect to see within antitrust enforcement.
 
The Obama administration had for eight years led an aggressive antitrust campaign, and the incoming Republican administration was viewed with a mixture of anticipation and angst, depending upon whom you asked.
 
Would we see a return of conservative antitrust principles, with strong criminal and civil enforcement where appropriate, policy tethered tightly to economic theory and evidence, and modesty born from both an understanding of the limits of antitrust and a recognition that intervention often makes consumers worse off?
 
Or would populist sentiments — so prominent during the 2016 election cycle — percolate into antitrust enforcement as well? Would the Trump administration look more like the Reagan administration, the Obama administration, or something uniquely its own in this regard?.............Read more
 
My Take - The idea that the government needs to break up companies just because they're too successful is antithetical to everything American capitalism stands for.  This is a socialist mentality that needs to be thrown onto the ash heap of history.  The only truly abusive monopolies are those that have been imposed by the government.  Typically those created by industry has been a boon to the nation, and John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil of New Jersey was a perfect example. 
 
On September 6th, 2011 I published the following article, The True Story of Standard Oil, you may find it meaningful. 
 

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