Occupy Wall Street and Antitrust

85 Southern California Law Review Postscript 33 (2012)

University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 179

20 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012 Last revised: 10 Jan 2013

See all articles by Maurice E. Stucke

Maurice E. Stucke

University of Tennessee College of Law; The Konkurrenz Group

Date Written: March 1, 2012


Capitalism, some declare, is in crisis. One concern, which the Occupy Wall Street protesters and many Americans share, is how a relatively small group of corporate and wealthy individuals now wields too much economic influence and control in the United States and the world. The prevailing belief is that financial institutions’ power and influence represent a major threat to America.

So what does antitrust have to say about this public unease? Few would likely believe the Supreme Court’s Standard Oil opinion handed down a century ago would relate to their present concerns. That is unfortunate. The concerns Standard Oil raises are salient today. At the forefront, then and now, are issues of income inequality and crony capitalism. Over the past 30 years, antitrust policy lost its way and now has several paradoxes. But the current public sentiment recaptures what others have long known, and what this Essay explores: Competition and antitrust are more political, than economic, concepts.

Keywords: Antitrust, Sherman Act, Standard Oil, Income Inequality, Too-Big-To-Fail

JEL Classification: K21, L40, L41, O15, D31

Suggested Citation

Stucke, Maurice E., Occupy Wall Street and Antitrust (March 1, 2012). 85 Southern California Law Review Postscript 33 (2012); University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 179. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2002234

Maurice E. Stucke (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 W. Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-9816 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.utk.edu/directory/maurice-stucke/

The Konkurrenz Group ( email )

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Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
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