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IN GENERAL, antitrust refers to the regulation of business practices that significantly reduce or deny competition and/or severely limit consumer access to goods or services at reasonable and competitive prices. In this respect, the purpose of antitrust laws is to criminalize and breakup monopolies, protect against unfair competition, and control mergers. The development of antitrust legislation began shortly after the Civil War as political legislators became increasingly skeptical of the growing power and size of business organizations.

From 1887 to 1904, several mergers took place that effectively established dominant monopolies including Standard Oil in the petroleum industry, U.S. Steel, American Tobacco, Kodak in the camera and film industry, and DuPont in the explosives industry. The development of these cartels posed serious concerns about their potential ...

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