Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 43, Issue 1–2, pp 103–119 | Cite as

Mitigating Monopoly or Preventing Discrimination: Comparing Antitrust to Regulatory Goals in the Interstate Commerce Act

  • Timothy J. Brennan


The Interstate Commerce Act and Sherman Antitrust Act were passed within 3 years of each other. Although regulation and antitrust both address market power, the ICA and Sherman Act had different objectives. After a minimal reference to just and reasonable prices, the ICA focused on preventing price discrimination in rail. No posited Sherman Act goal—inequality, consumer welfare, efficiency—is in the ICA. Priority of discrimination in the ICA, however, is predictable. Shippers would care less about absolute rates—which can be passed on to final consumers—and more about preventing rivals from gaining advantages through input price discounts.


Antitrust Interstate Commerce Act Monopoly Price discrimination Regulation 

JEL Classification

L51 K21 L92 



The author wishes to thank Larry White, Wes Wilson, and two anonymous referees for many helpful suggestions that substantially improved this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County, UMBCBaltimoreUSA

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