The Sherman Anti-Trust Act declares every contract in restraint of trade to be illegal. The early decisions construing this act interpreted the language literally. Since this interpretation would have invalidated nearly all contracts used in the normal course of business, the test was relaxed to a rule of reason Henceforth, the only restraints violative of the Sherman Act were those operating to the prejudice of the public interest by causing undue interference with the free flow of trade. The court soon recognized certain actions as being illegal per se because of their total lack of benefit to the public. Among those classed as such have been group boycotts, territorial limitations and price fixing combinations.
Price Fixing and the Illegal Per Se Concept,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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