Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
 
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Farewell Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1996 Election Documents
• 1968 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
• White House Media Pool Reports
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 


AND OR NOT
Limit by Year

From:
To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals

Instructions
You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
 
Gerald R. Ford: Letter to the House Minority Leader on Certain Provisions of the Proposed Antitrust Bill.
Gerald
Gerald R. Ford
224 - Letter to the House Minority Leader on Certain Provisions of the Proposed Antitrust Bill.
March 17, 1976
Public Papers of the Presidents
Gerald R. Ford<br>1976-77: Book I
Gerald R. Ford
1976-77: Book I
Font Size:
Print
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

Dear John:

As I outlined to you on Tuesday, March 16, I support vigorous antitrust enforcement, but I have serious reservations concerning the parens patriae concept set forth in the present version of H.R. 8532.

I question whether federal legislation is desirable which authorizes a state attorney general to sue on behalf of the state's citizens to recover treble damages that result from violations of the federal antitrust laws. The states have the ability to amend their own antitrust laws to authorize patens patriae suits in their own courts. If a state legislature, acting for its own citizens, is not convinced the parens patriae concept is sound policy, the Administration questions whether the Congress should bypass the state legislatures and provide state attorneys general with access to the federal courts to enforce it.

In addition to my reservations about the principle of parens patriae, I am concerned about some specific provisions of the legislation developed by the House Judiciary Committee.

The present bill is too broad in its reach and should be narrowed to price fixing violations. This would concentrate the enforcement on the most important antitrust violations.

In addition, the Administration is opposed to mandatory treble damage awards in parens patriae suits, preferring instead a provision which would limit awards only to the damages that actually result from the violation. The view that federal penalties were inadequate, which has been used to justify mandatory treble damages in the past, is no longer justifiable given the substantial increases in these penalties in recent years.

The Administration opposes extension of the statistical aggregation of damages, beyond parens patriae legislation, to private class action suits because this is outside of the appropriate reach of this legislation.

Finally, the Administration prefers discretionary rather than mandatory award of attorney's fees, leaving such awards to the discretion of the courts.

During the last two years, the Administration has sought to improve federal enforcement efforts in the antitrust area and the resources devoted to antitrust enforcement have increased substantially. In December 1974, I signed the Antitrust Penalties and Procedures Act which increased maximum penalties from $50,000 to $1 million for corporations and $100,000 for individuals. As I indicated above, I support vigorous antitrust enforcement, but I do not believe H.R. 8532 is a responsible way to enforce federal antitrust laws.
Sincerely,

GERALD R. FORD

[The Honorable John J. Rhodes, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515]



Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Letter to the House Minority Leader on Certain Provisions of the Proposed Antitrust Bill.," March 17, 1976. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=5716.
Home         
© 1999-2017 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project ™
Locations of visitors to this page