TRADE ASSOCIATION INFORMATION EXCHANGES UNDER THE ANTI-TRUST LAWS: COMPULSORY OR OPEN COMPETITION

A RECENT DEVELOPMENT IN CONSENT DECREES INVOLVES INFORMATION EXCHANGES WHICH COMPELS THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION. THE HISTORY IS REVIEWED BRIEFLY OF DEVELOPMENTS UNDER THE ANTI-TRUST LAWS RELATING TO INFORMATION EXCHANGES. EXAMPLES RELATING TO PRICE FIXING ARE REVIEWED IN THIS SEQUENCE: (1) THE ADDYSTON CASE OF 1898, (2) THE PHENOMENON OF DELIVERED PRICING AS A METHOD OF PRICE FIXING BASED ON INFORMATION EXCHANGES, (3) OPEN PRICE DEVELOPMENTS WHICH WERE INITIATED BY THE LUMBER INTERESTS IN THE 1920'S, (4) THE CONSENT DECREES WHICH WOULD INTERFERE WITH THE EXCHANGE OF COST INFORMATION (5) THE PRESENT G.E.-WESTINGHOUSE PRICE CONSPIRACY AND SOME OF THE NOVEL PROVISIONS WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SOUGHT TO INCLUDE IN A CONSENT DECREE AGAINST G.E., AND (6) RECENT PROPOSALS FOR REMEDIAL ACTION WHICH WOULD COMPEL PRICE-FIXING SCHEMES TO BE BROKEN UP IN THE NONREGULATED INDUSTRIES, AND THEN COUNTER WITH DECREES WHICH SEEK TO DETER THE GIANTS OF INDUSTRY FROM COMPETING TOO VIGOROUSLY ON A PRICE BASIS SO AS TO DESTROY THE MARGINAL PRODUCER PROTECTED BY THE ILLEGAL PRICE-FIXING SCHEMES. THE PROPOSALS OF THE GOVERNMENT'S DECREE OF CONSENT AGAINST GENERAL ELECTRIC PROVIDE ANSWERS WHICH REQUIRE A GREAT DEAL OF SUPERVISION BY THE GOVERNMENT TO SEE THAT THEY WORK. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT PROGRESS IN THE FUTURE MAY LIE IN SUGGESTIONS BY GARDINER MEANS, WHO THOUGHT THAT EFFORTS SHOULD BE DEVOTED TO TURNING THE MANAGEMENT OF GIANT CORPORATIONS FROM THE SEARCH FOR THE GREATEST PROFIT TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST GOALS INSURING THAT: (1) PRICE BE IN REASONABLE RELATION TO COSTS, (2) BENEFITS TO LABOR AND TO CAPITAL ARISING FROM PRODUCTION BE REASONABLY RELATED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO PRODUCTION, (3) OPTIMUM USE OF RESOURCES BE MADE SO THAT NO MORE OF A GIVEN RESOURCE IS USED THAN IS NECESSARY FOR THE END PRODUCT AND THAT COMBINATION OF RESOURCES IS USED WHICH INVOLVES THE LEAST COST, AND (4) THERE BE TECHNICAL PROGRESS TO REDUCE COSTS, IMPROVE PRODUCT, AND INTRODUCE NEW PRODUCTS.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 35-40
  • Monograph Title: Legal studies
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00238689
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: No. 274
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 28 1994 12:00AM