Anti-trust laws serve a valuable purpose in preventing corporations from gaining monopoly or otherwise anti-market power. This is a simple, well understood principle that has been eroded and virtually lost. While market competition serves society by creating choices and fostering market innovation and improvement, at times a winner obtains a monopoly on a particular market, and all competition ceases. Innovation plummets, prices skyrocket, and newcomers quickly perish under the boots of the reigning champion. The monopolist charges consumers whatever they can afford to pay. Here, society is made to serve corporations, a perversion of the general rule that corporations are created to serve society.
Recent mergers and proposed mergers suggest that the enforcement arm of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is broken. It takes strong regulators to prevent the perversion of markets by the formation of monopolies. Because “restraint of trade or commerce” is essentially a judgment call, a president can appoint regulators who rarely see violations, or who believe the state of corporate America is already quite consolidated.