… is from page 281 of William Letwin’s important 1965 book, Law and Economic Policy in America: The Evolution of the Sherman Antitrust Act:
All of the problems produced by the multiplicity of goals at which antitrust law aims and by the complexity of the legal process used to enforce it remain with us today and show no signs of abating. As one observer has recently complained, antitrust law, as not applied, tells “some businessmen that they must not cut prices, others that they must not raise prices, and still others that there is something evil in similar prices.”
DBx: Indeed. And while antitrust enforcement, fortunately, became relatively innocuous circa 1980-2020, it is now, unfortunately, roaring back as a mad beast.
Letwin doesn’t identify the observer who he here quotes. But the observation conveyed by the quotation is often, and plausibly, attributed to Ronald Coase.