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Legal history

2020

Antitrust and Trade Regulation

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The Sherman Act Is A No-Fault Monopolization Statute: A Textualist Demonstration, Robert H. Lande, Richard O. Zerbe Jr. Jan 2020

The Sherman Act Is A No-Fault Monopolization Statute: A Textualist Demonstration, Robert H. Lande, Richard O. Zerbe Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

The drafters of the Sherman Act originally designed Section 2 to impose

sanctions on all monopolies and attempts to monopolize, regardless whether the

firm had engaged in anticompetitive conduct. This conclusion emerges from the

first ever textualist analysis of the language in the statute, a form of interpretation

originally performed only by Justice Scalia but now increasingly used by the

Supreme Court, including in its recent Bostock decision.

Following Scalia’s methodology, this Article analyzes contemporaneous

dictionaries, legal treatises, and cases and demonstrates that when the Sherman

Act was passed, the word “monopolize” simply meant that someone had acquired

a monopoly. …