“that could constitute anti-competitive collusion under federal law”
I wonder if there ever was any economic proof of truly anti-competitive behavior, over a significant period of time, in the history of anti-trust. I know there’s been legal proof, but the law never had anything to do with (applicable) economic theory, only what was covered by the law, which in turn was what looked bad to people who didn’t know better.
"No one will ever know what new products, processes, machines, and cost-saving mergers failed to come into existence, killed by the Sherman Act before they were born. No one can ever compute the price that all of us have paid for that Act which, by inducing less effective use of capital, has kept our standard of living lower than would otherwise have been possible."
The Sherman Act was used in the 80s to attack IBM as the company became progressively less dominant in the mainframe computer business, an atrophying industry. The law was used later to attack Microsoft for such crimes as embedding application software such as a browser with its own operating system. Oracle and others cheered that suit on for their own advantage. Microsoft has been beaten handily in the marketplace in several sectors - shopping and social networking are but two of those. And now several companies are working on operating systems for the tiny "netbook" computers. Who knows what that will spawn?
The market works when it is permitted to do so.