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Standard Oil, the Origins of Dual Antitrust Jurisdiction in the U.S., and the Modern Justification for Unified Enforcement


George L. Priest


Yale University - Law School

March 7, 2012

Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 444

Abstract:     
Professor William Kovacic’s spirited and articulate advocacy of unified and coordinated antitrust enforcement as between the dual U.S. antitrust agencies - the Justice Department and the FTC - gains force from a more complete historical understanding of the origins of the FTC and of the changes in antitrust understanding in the years since. Congress created the FTC in 1914, giving it independent antitrust enforcement authority, explicitly because it was disappointed in the antitrust efforts of the Justice Department, in particular with the outcome of the 1911 Standard Oil case, and wanted separate and more aggressive enforcement. In the years since the creation of the FTC, however, there has developed a consensus on the economic analysis of antitrust that eliminates the need for competing enforcement agencies, providing support for Professor Kovacic’s recommendations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

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Date posted: March 23, 2012 ; Last revised: March 28, 2012

Suggested Citation

Priest, George L., Standard Oil, the Origins of Dual Antitrust Jurisdiction in the U.S., and the Modern Justification for Unified Enforcement (March 7, 2012). Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 444. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2027614

Contact Information

George L. Priest (Contact Author)
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
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