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Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was the first major regulatory agency created in the U.S. government, and it is the first independent regulatory commission. The ICC regulated the rates and business practices of interstate shipping by railroads and, later, trucking companies and barge lines, from 1887 until significant deregulation under the Staggers Rail Act in 1980, and final termination of the agency at the end of 1995. Some remaining functions were deposited in a new Surface Transportation Board (STB).

The ICC influenced the design and functioning of all subsequent independent commissions. Regulatory tools that originated in legislation applying to the ICC also became the models for methods of regulation used extensively, not only elsewhere in the federal government but in most state governments as well. In ...

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