Competition law (also known as antitrust law) aims to keep markets competitive by regulating activities that would lead to a reduction in competition. Contemporary competition law has roots in the United State's Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which contained general prohibitions on cartels and monopolies.
Society has generally agreed that competition is a good thing, in part because it leads to lower prices, higher quality products, and more options for the consumer. Conversely, monopolies lead to higher prices, products of inferior quality, and less consumer choice. Because competition is considered a good thing, the law prohibits practices that are considered anticompetitive.
These notes cover multilateral and unilateral anti-competitive practices, public and private enforcement, and merger control.