Antitrust Considerations in Motor Carrier Mergers

Unification of separate independent business enterprises in a single organization may raise important questions of antitrust policy. The entity which emerges may have acquired, as a result of such unification, a market position of such significance that a substantial lessening of competition or even the creation of a monopoly becomes not only possible but probable. This would be apparent whenever opportunities for buyers of the products or services of the new single unit to shop freely, and to make independent decisions as to prices, channels of purchases and selection of suppliers were to be seriously curtailed, or where such curtailment could be expected in due course. On the other hand, unification may lead to lower costs and increased efficiency, and may even enhance competition by permitting smaller firms to consolidate their resources in order to increase their ability to engage in rivalry with larger firms. These considerations are reflected in section 7 of the Clayton Act which declares unlawful the acquisition of the whole or any part of the stock or assets of a corporation engaged in interstate commerce, “where in any line of commerce in any section of the country, the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.” This was intended “to cope with monopolistic tendencies in their incipiency.” Therefore, “the section is violated whether or not actual restraints or monopolies, or the substantial lessening of competition, have occurred or are intended.”