Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Clayton Act.

December 29, 1950

I HAVE today signed H.R. 2734, which amends the Clayton Act, relative to the prevention of monopolies.

I have signed this act with great satisfaction, because it closes a gap in our antimonopoly laws that has existed since 1914. Under the Clayton Act, enacted in that year, corporations have been prohibited from destroying competition through buying up the stock of their competitors. But until now, corporations have been able to defeat the purpose of the law by buying up the assets, rather than the stock, of competitors. Now, under this new law, the same principle will apply to the purchase of corporate assets as to the purchase of stock.

Much of the concentration of economic power which has taken place since 1914 has been due to this gap in the law. The closing of the gap is an important step in preventing the growth of monopolies and thus assuring the survival and health of free competitive enterprise.

I have repeatedly recommended the enactment of this legislation to the Congress, as a major element in the program of this administration to prevent the growth of monopoly and greater concentration of economic power and to create conditions favorable to small and independent business. I am very glad that this major piece of legislation has at last become law. I shall expect the Federal Trade Commission to be alert and vigorous in its enforcement.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 2734 is Public Law 899, 81st Congress (64 Stat. 1125).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Clayton Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230629

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