T H E     S H E R M A N    A C T

U.S Code  §1

Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding 100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, 1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court

U.S Code §2

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishment, in the discretion of the court

EUROPEAN RULES ON COMPETITION 

Art. 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 

The following shall be prohibited as incompatible with the internal market: all agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, and in particular those which:

(a) directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions;

(b) limit or control production, markets, technical development, or investment;

(c) share markets or sources of supply;

(d) apply dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;

(e) make the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of such contracts.

Any agreements or decisions prohibited pursuant to this Article shall be automatically void.

The provisions of paragraph 1 may, however, be declared inapplicable in the case of:

- any agreement or category of agreements between undertakings,

- any decision or category of decisions by associations of undertakings,

- any concerted practice or category of concerted practices,

which contributes to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit, and which does not:

(a) impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of these objectives;

(b) afford such undertakings the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the products in question.

Art. 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 

Any abuse by one or more undertakings of a dominant position within the internal market or in a substantial part of it shall be prohibited as incompatible with the internal market in so far as it may affect trade between Member States.

Such abuse may, in particular, consist in:

(a) directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions;

(b) limiting production, markets or technical development to the prejudice of consumers;

(c) applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;

(d) making the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of such contracts.

A Comparative Comment on

Antitrust

Law

Anti-trust Law as a body of rule intended to protect consumers from unfair predatory business practices was born in 1980 in the United States of America with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. It was indeed the first Federal act regulating business practices in America against unfair joint activities. Leaving aside the Federal scenario, The Sherman Act deserves a place in the history for being the very first act that outlawed monopolistic business practices for the well-functioning of the market, bringing the birth of what we call Anti-trust law.

That is the reason why the main principles and rules  of antitrust law of different jurisdictions, as the european one, come frome the U.S tradition, and that is why notions and measures for European Antitrust Law is Thereto referred.

The relationship between the American and European Antitrust regulations certainly cannot preclude an emulative point of view on the part of the Union with respect to the United States. After all, some factors are clear signs that justify this phenomenon. Above all, the United States paradoxically has an older legal tradition than that of the European Union, provided that, just as the Union is keen to emphasize, European law is considered as the law of the European Union and not that of the individual member states.
On the other hand, another aspect of far from secondary importance is the political nature on which Antitrust legislation is based. The United States has historically always been the country where economic liberalism has followed liberal policy. The European Union has a political form that undoubtedly resumes today the US scheme in terms of private economic initiative, but characterized by member countries that in the not too distant past have distinguished themselves for an inevitably very centralized policy that has inevitably limited the receipt of the American antitrust model.
Let's take the Italian case as an example. In Italy, just as the Sherman Act was being promulgated, the monopolies were enormous, for example there was a single telephone operator, something strongly regulated and avoided at European level, the banks were public, totally extraneous to the anti-trust. This is given by a political legacy that in Italy has marked a delay in the administrative structure, also and above all in relation to the intervention of the state in economic policy, slowing down the transposition of antitrust regulations.
From this, however, we must not be deceived and believe that the Antitrust can arise only in conditions of state non-interventionism, conversely, it is the result of a lack of liberalism in which, following the failures of the market left to itself, it is assumed state intervention in these regulators.

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