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The Incipiency Doctrine is a rationale used to evaluate and potentially block mergers that might result in harm to competition among American businesses. It arises under the Clayton Act and is used in evaluating whether the effect of a proposed merger may be to substantially lessen competition or to tend to create a monopoly. If so, the potential harm that could result from the merger is deemed under the Incipiency Doctrine to be sufficient to block the merger. In addition to the difficulty of determining whether harm will, in fact, result from a merger, the type of harm that may result has not been clearly defined, thus leading to confusion about when to apply the doctrine.

Antitrust laws in the United States such as the Sherman ...

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