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Academic Articles Awards > General Antitrust

From Philadelphia National Bank to Too Big to Fail: How Modern Financial Markets Have Outrun Antitrust Law as a Source of Useful Structural Remedies

Donald I. Baker, 80 Antitrust Law Journal No. 2, 2015

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In 1963, when the Supreme Court disposed, in a single footnote, of any lingering doubts about whether “banking” was really “commerce” subject to the Sherman and Clayton Acts,1 it opened a large new frontier for antitrust enforcement by the Department of Justice. And we at the DOJ leapt into this cozy, regulated field by bringing far more merger cases against banks and bank holding companies than we brought in any other industry over the next decade. The Philadelphia National Bank (PNB) decision gave us a ringing mandate in the oft-quoted assertion that “[t]he fact that banking is a highly regulated industry critical to the Nation’s welfare makes the play of competition not less important but more so."

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