Running head: VIRTUES OF COMPETITION
A Competitive America
Tonya Y. Stansberry
American businesses are based on free trade in a Capitalist system. In its simplest form this means that each business is free to compete with the next. That the entrepreneur is free to risk and open a business whether it is for social gain or profit. Businesses openly compete for the business of the client or customer because they need the income. Businesses have been competing among one another since the industrialization of the United States of America. There have not always rules and regulations to govern fair and equitable trade and business practices. ...view middle of the document...
The anti-trust laws were created by Congress to protect the consumer and business and to save competition and free market. A recent example of a company that is aggressively acquiring or becoming a cable monopoly is AT & T who is acquiring DirecTV. The first of the anti-trust laws was the Sherman Act in 1890, which outlaws or prohibits “monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize.” (www.ftc.gov) If this deal goes through this will make AT&T and Comcast the primary cable networks, thus setting up a market where the consumer does not get a lower price because of a lack of competition. Free Press Chief Executive Officer Craig Aaron states that the wave of mergers is “about eliminating the last shred of competition in a communications sector that’s already dominated by too few players.” (Fottrell, para. 3) There will be only two major cable companies, they can set the price for cable and viewers would have little choice of what to pay. The Sherman Act was put in place to oversee these kinds of mergers and the Federal Trade Commission should monitor this merger as well.
If AT&T were found to be in violation of the Sherman act, the penalties for violating the Sherman act, for a corporation are up to $100 million and $1 million for a person with up to 10 years in a federal prison. To prove that they were in violation of the Sherman act would mean that they would have to be bid–rigging, collusion, or price fixing and they are doing none of those things. They are buying the company straight out. However, it is a merger that sets up an opportunity for a company to practice consumerism.
The Federal Trade Commission Act
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act bans “unfair methods of competition.” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” (www.ftc.gov) the number one complaint that the FTC deals with is identity theft. The age group hit the hardest and most often through identity theft is the 20-29 year olds. (www.consumer.ftc.gov) There are a variety of identity thefts from ATM card, to child, and medical all should be reported immediately. In 1998 Congress took steps to ensure that the identity thief could be persecuted for their crime.
Other deceptive practices have to be proven in court and are punished accordingly. Papa Johns was sued by Pizza Hut for their slogan “Better ingredients. Better Pizza.” because Pizza Hut stated that it was deceptive to the consumer and...