One form of grease to keep the wheels of capitalism from jamming up.

Competition yields innovation. However, it's not always the best way to make a profit, which is what capitalism is about. A company that has no competition can make more money, and has less pressure.

These laws and regulations are there to make sure that a company does not get into a position of dominance where they can eliminate and prevent competition, whether it be due to mergers, buyouts, or just plain manipulation of the market.

Lack of such laws leaves the potential for eventual domination of the economy by a few giant corporations - or even one.

Two big antitrust lawsuits: Microsoft and General Motors.

We all know about Microsoft, but General Motors' case is less famous, and possibly more damaging-to the environment and society. In the 30s, 40s and 50s, trolley and tram lines were all over California, with easy, fast transport to almost anywhere.

General Motors, obviously, did not like this state of affairs-no petrol/diesel engines=no profit. So, GM started buying up these trolleys and tram lines, then ripped them up and poured kerosene over the vehicles, either replacing the lines with GM-made buses or not replacing them at all. This meant that if you wanted to move around in California, you had to either buy a GM car, or use a GM bus...whoops, monopoly.

The Government took antitrust charges out against GM and a series of other companies involved, and fined these companies and GM $5000 each, and every executive concerned was fined $1.

$1 each. For destroying public transport in a state.

The shitty things some companies do...
Sources: http://www.trainweb.org/mts/ctc/ctc06.html
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.