Business Concentration and Antitrust Laws

Archive Report

New Trend Toward Conglomerate Mergers

Sharp Increase in Merger Activity in Good Times

The current economic boom, now more than five years old, has provided fresh proof of the axiom that prosperity breeds business mergers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 1,893 mergers1 were consummated in 1965, as compared with 1,797 in 1964 and 1,479 in 1963. The total for 1966 appears certain to exceed 2,000.

As was the case in past periods of intense merger activity, government officials are beginning to express fear that concentration will destroy competition. Sen. Philip A. Hart (D Mich.), chairman of the antitrust and monopoly subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently predicted that 200 corporations would own 75 per cent of the country's manufacturing assets within a decade unless the ...

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