What are antitrust laws? Youtuber One Minute Economics carefully breaks down the different kinds of laws that address antitrust issues, and how it affects a business from multiple points of view.
Essentially, antitrust laws prevent anyone or a conglomerate of companies from forming a monopoly, resulting in overly-aggressive business tactics, and charging very high prices for products that they are the sole owners of. Businesses do this through mergers, collusions, or even planning which company wins ahead of time. Without healthy competition, consumers stand to lose out by paying whatever prices are available, and there is no alternative for them to choose from.
If you were to ask an antitrust lawyer what kinds of protections are already in place, that lawyer would tell you about the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Antitrust Act. Such acts prevent businesses from forming monopolies by issuing heavy fines up to jail time.
Opinions on whether such acts are helpful to society vary from person to person, from some saying they’re completely unnecessary to be the best thing that the government has done in preventing monopolies.