Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Congress enacted a series of measures, known as antitrust laws, designed to protect consumers from monopolies and collusion among competitors that undermine the fairness of the marketplace. Though enforced haphazardly, these laws set the rules of competition in a free-market economy until the early 1980s, when government policy makers under Ronald Reagan began to dismantle antitrust enforcement and adopt more “business-friendly” procedures based on the conservative notion that all markets will self-correct when government simply gets out of the way. Reback, one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys, recounts many of the major court cases that he was involved in, including the breakup of AT&T, early cases of software copyright infringement, and the “trial of the century,” the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. By demonstrating how rampant price-fixing and hidden fees in everything from high-speed Internet access, wireless phone service, and cable providers to travel and financial services have stifled competition and produced higher-priced but inferior products and services for consumers, Reback makes the case for seriously reconsidering the laissez-faire approach to antitrust enforcement. --David Siegfried
About the Author
Gary L. Reback is one of the nation's most prominent antitrust attorneys, best known for spearheading the efforts that led to the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. He has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal and is quoted regularly by major media. He is currently of counsel with Carr & Ferrell LLP.