Antitrust Laws , legislation intended to regulate or prohibit business activities considered harmful to the public interest in two broad areas—the creation of monopolies and the restriction of competition through unfair business practices. The term "antitrust" was originally created to describe laws and government actions that attempted to regulate or punish the monopolistic tendencies of large corporations. The term has a much broader meaning today.
Government intervention in the economy to preserve competition has been national policy in the United States since the late 19th century. Enforcement of antitrust laws, however, has varied over the years, depending upon U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the policies of particular Presidential administrations, and public opinion. There are both federal and state antitrust laws. State laws, however, are seldom invoked today.