In light of the recent debates surrounding the proper relationship between federal and state antitrust enforcement, this Paper explores the early years of state antitrust enforcement to see how the Sherman Act impacted state antitrust law. Since Tennessee was the location of the first federal case brought under the Sherman Act and has been involved in recent indirect purchaser action against Microsoft Corporation, this Paper particularly focuses on the development of antitrust law within Tennessee. Before the Sherman Act, Tennessee antitrust enforcement was limited to the narrow confines of common law restraint of trade, but the implementation of the Sherman Act and the national acceptance of stronger antitrust regulation contributed to state antitrust enforcement that surpassed and supplemented the limited federal antitrust capacity. The development and implementation of Tennessee’s antitrust law thus demonstrates the usefulness of federalism in providing two avenues for consistent enforcement of antitrust law when political and legal limitations preclude one of the methods of enforcement from adequately punishing behavior that harms consumer welfare within states while also discouraging inefficient over-enforcement of antitrust laws.
Recommended CitationClark L. Hildabrand, Interactive Antitrust Federalism: Antitrust Enforcement in Tennessee Then and Now, 16 Tenn. J. Bus. L. (2014) ,