Hastings Law Journal


In 1943 the United States Supreme Court created a judicial exemption to the federal antitrust laws in Parker v. Brown. In that unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that activity of the sovereign states was not subject to the federal antitrust prohibitions. Subsequent cases expanded the Parker exemption to exclude from the scope of the antitrust statutes the actions of private individuals who were regulated by state agencies. In 1976 a divided United States Supreme Court in Cantor v. Detroit Edison Co. made the first major revisions in the Parker exemption since its inception. The author examines both Parker and Cantor and resolves questions concerning the current status of the state action exemption and its future development.

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