In the late 19th century, large corporations were making money by exploiting workers and forming trusts and monopolies. Monopolies, in which a single company controls an entire industry, were seen as unfavorable because they did not enable free competition regarding the price and quality of services to the public. To regulate these practices, antitrust laws were put in place to break up monopolies. Such measures were put in place to protect consumers from business malpractice and to give greater opportunity to potential rivals who might want to compete.
In the years following the U.S. Civil War, the railroad industry was a privately owned enterprise and, therefore, not subject to federal regulations. This meant that they had the power to set...Read more