Bigness in Business

January 10, 1950

Report Outline
Corporate Size and Federal Antitrust Policy
Size of Business and the Public Interest
Suggested Answers to Problem of Bigness

Corporate Size and Federal Antitrust Policy

Postwar Revival of Campaign Against Monopoly

General Belief that concentration of economic power in large corporations is continuing without abatement through the period of postwar prosperity has brought a renewal of the widespread antitrust activity in progress under the Roosevelt administration when the United States entered the war.

Committees of Congress are seeking ways to prevent further expansion of already huge industrial enterprises, while the Department of Justice is attempting through court action under the existing antitrust laws to split giant business combinations into smaller units. The Federal Trade Commission warns that great size in private industry holds a threat to political freedom as well as to economic progress. But the Department of Justice denies that it is trying to enforce a policy of “atomization” or is waging war on “bigness as such.”

Truman's Concern Over Industrial Concentration

President Truman has repeatedly expressed his concern over “the increasing concentration of power in the hands of a small number of giant organizations.” In his State of the Union message, Jan. 4, 1950, he observed that the future growth of the country held “possibilities for hundreds of thousands of new and independent businesses,” and he warned that “if the number does not increase, our constantly growing economy will fall under the control of a few dominant economic groups whose powers will be so great that they will be a challenge to democratic institutions.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Antitrust and Monopolies
Antitrust and Monopolies