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On the Origins of American Antitrust Legislation

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I’m deeply honored to be the first of Juliette Sellgren’s guests – on her wonderful podcast, “The Great Antidote” – to appear for a second time [2].

In this podcast, recorded earlier this week, Juliette and I discuss the history of American antitrust legislation. This legislation was not meant to promote economic competition; it was intended to protect politically influential firms from the competition that was being unleashed by new, entrepreneurial firms – especially those taking advantage of the economies of scale made possible by railroads and electronic communications.

(I do apologize for mistakingly saying that the great Gustavus Swift [3] was born to German parents. He was, in fact, born to descendants of English settlers in America.)