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    The first two important pieces of antitrust legal action were the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 to regulate the railroad industry, and the Sherman Act in 1890. The Sherman Act is the cornerstone of US antitrust law.

    In brief, the Sherman Act prohibits the following:

  1. Contracts or combinations in restraint of trade.
  2. Monopolization or attempts to monopolize any industry.

    While it may seem that the basic intent of the Sherman Act is clear, it is very unclear how it should be applied in specific circumstances. For example, does a monopoly have to have 100% market share? If so, there probably never would be a true monopoly. What is an "attempt to monopolize"? Is trying to expand your market always a violation or does it depend on specific behaviors toward competitors? Is trying to secure a favorable contract from a supplier a "restraint of trade"?

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