Antitrust Policy Research Paper
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Medicine, Business, Competition, Customers, Law, Policy, Services, Products
Antitrust is a word that originates from the 1880s, a time when big businesses controlled industries and worked together to minimize competition. The companies worked together as trusts and therefore laws protecting competition are labeled antitrust. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these antitrust laws through challenging practices that could harm consumers and, as a result, have lower quality, high prices, and fewer services or goods. The antitrust policy ensures that business practices are monitored, and mergers are reviewed. These practices ensure that markets work in accordance with the preferences of consumers and not practices that are illegal.
Are large medical systems a violation of the antitrust laws? Yes, large medical systems can be viewed as a violation of antitrust laws. A large medical facility allows related firms to operate together efficiently. It can result in less quality, higher prices and, of course, fewer choices. For many businesses to be large it involves merging with other companies and so is the case in large medical systems. In reference to antitrust laws, it is illegal for several businesses to act together in certain ways that could limit competition leading to higher prices. A large medical facility will have the advantage of controlling most of the consumers and can make their prices high because they will have customers regardless. Medical systems offer products that are in limited supply and high costs for limited products result from increases in demand by consumers (Whitney 1958).
A large medical system or facility would also be viewed as a monopoly. A monopoly is believed to exist when an individual company has control over a service or product in the market. In a given area, there could only be one large medical system, and this makes it a monopoly. It is almost impossible for smaller medical facilities to offer services like those found in large systems. Larger medical facilities have better technology, better staff, better services, quality medication and many others. This way, they impair the ability of other companies to compete against them. This issue raises concerns about antitrust business practices.
Consumers should have price choices, service, and selection. Having an extensive medical system acting as a monopoly makes it almost impossible for consumers to have such choices. The Federal Trade Commission through the antitrust policy works on ensuring that customers have choices in the selection, services and price. For example, in America, competition is about service, selection, and price. This competition keeps prices low, choice and quality of goods high that is an advantage to the consumers. Large medical facilities will attract less or no competition, something that is not good for consumers (Hovenkamp, 2005).
Therefore, it is valid to say that competition counts. With no competition, the medical system will have no incentive of lowering prices. Competition also makes an economy work. Antitrust policies challenge businesses that are anticompetitive and promote competition that is healthy. These policies ensure businesses compete fairly in a given set of rules. Some agreements become illegal when they do not offer competition and also do not provide benefits for consumers of that product. For example, medical facilities may not be allowed to require customers to purchase patient monitoring systems that they do not want together with drugs that they require. The bill of rights plays a significant role in the protection of individual freedom, and so does the antitrust policy in protection of economic freedom.
Hovenkamp, H. (2005). Federal antitrust policy: The law of competition and its practice. St.
Paul, MN: Thomson/West.
Whitney, S. N. (1958). Antitrust policies: American experience in twenty industries. New York:
Twentieth Century Fund.