Well what about the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, also known as the Anti-Price Discrimination Act or the "Anti-A&P Act? Wright Patman, the Texas Democrat who was the main force behind the bill, made sure everyone understood Congress's intent. "The express purpose of the Act is to protect the independent merchant" B.C. Lynn, Harpers, July 2006).
See the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company was putting small family owned grocery stores out of business. They did this by undercutting them in their pricing. Back in the day, the US Federal Government was relentless against the A&P, hauling them repeatedly into court. The A&P was also a monopsony. This is when a company has the power to dictate pricing to its suppliers (remind you of anyone?).
There is another older article by Robert Reich entitled "Wal-Mart is too big: But not according to America's antitrust laws".
Is Wal-Mart too big? Not according to America's antitrust laws, which consider only one thing - whether a company is so big it drives competitors out, thereby forcing consumers to pay more. Wal-Mart is huge but it still represents only 8 percent of retail sales in America. That's not nearly enough to reduce competition.Nope, you probably need to control 30% of the market before the government will take notice. But Reich tells us that antitrust laws had another purpose that might give us hope:
Yet there's another tradition of American antitrust that may be relevant here. We don't hear much about it any longer, but a century ago antitrust was also concerned about companies becoming so large they distorted the political process. In fact, the danger to democracy posed by large corporations was the primary reason for antitrust laws being enacted in the first place.Indeed, even at the local level you can see Wal-Mart spending money to influence the political process. But I don't hold out much hope for antitrust actions on political grounds either. Republicans just aren't interested in regulating big corporations anymore and one has to wonder about Democrats as well. After all, our own Senator Hillary Clinton once served on Wal-Mart's Board of Directors. Maybe someday Wal-Mart supporters and corrupt politicians will wake up and see the effects of Wal-Mart not just on our own economy, but the entire world's economy. The question then is will it be soon enough to do something about it.