Some of the businesses have tried elimination of competition vial illegal means, for instance, assigning territories to varying competitors in an industry, and fixing prices. Antitrust laws, thus seek to eliminate illegal behavior as well as promoting fair and free marketplace competition. The Sherman Act made agreements that were in restraint of trade illegal and also made the crime to monopolize commerce and part of the trade. The Act’s purpose was the maintenance of competition in business. Congress enacted the Sherman Act to regulate interstate commerce (Liuzzo, 2012).
The Sherman Antitrust Act contains seven sections. The section one provides the description that any contract, trust combination, trusts or conspiracy towards restraining commerce or trade between several states and with foreign nations are declared illegal. Courts have interpreted the Sherman Act to forbid the unreasonable restraints of trade. There has to be a conspiracy of trade and effect on the interstate commerce. Under the Rule of Reason, courts will look for many factors to decide whether the specific restraint of trade restricts unreasonable competition. To be specific, the court will consider the relevant industry make up, the position of the defendant in the industry as well as the defendant’s competitor’s ability in responding to the practice challenged and the purpose of the defendant in restraint adoption (Worth, 2011).
Considering this analysis, courts are forced to consider anti-competitive and pro-competitive effects. For other types of restraints, the courts just have to recognize the restraint type, and the plaintiff has to just show that the restraint occurred. Section one of the Act makes a prohibition towards concerted action. Evidence of this action can be shown through a written or express agreement, or from circumstantial evidence.