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As the world’s nations rapidly move from systems in which central planning and monopoly are replaced by free markets,2 it becomes increasingly valuable to consider the histories of competition policy experienced in different nations, on a comparative basis.3 In this article, we focus on the history of antitrust in the United States, the first nation to develop and fully-articulate a competition policy, drawing out themes that may be useful to other countries as they contemplate the shape and direction of their own competition regimes. We show that the American competition policy has reflected an underlying stability and bi-partisanship, but that it has also changed, often dramatically, from time to time and period to period, and is still in the process of change, reflecting changes in the political environment, our understanding of economics, and the perceived needs of the day. It is the combination of stability and flexibility that has kept antitrust relevant for more than a century, even as the nation has undergone remarkable changes.





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