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Packers and Stockyards Act

PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT

PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT. The Packers and Stockyards Act, passed in August 1921 after several years of controversy, made it unlawful for packers to manipulate prices, to create a monopoly, or to award favors to any person or locality. The legal regulation of stockyards attempted to guarantee nondiscriminatory services, reasonable rates, open schedules, and fair charges. Administration of the law was the responsibility of the secretary of agriculture, who heard complaints, held hearings, and issued "cease and desist" orders. The bill was a significant part of the agrarian legislation of the early 1920s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ruttan, Vernon W., comp. Agricultural Policy in an Affluent Society. New York: Norton, 1969.

Thomas S.Barclay/c. w.

See alsoAntitrust Laws ; Meatpacking ; Monopoly ; Packers' Agreement .

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Packers and Stockyards Act

PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT


In 1921, the result of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress responded to gross abuses within the meat industry by passing the Packers and Stockyards Act. The legislation made the meat-packing industry and any related industry subject to federal regulation and gave the Secretary of Agriculture purview over stockyard markets and operators. The act prohibited price fixing (the practice of pricing below cost to eliminate a competitive product), price discrimination (the practice of setting different prices for different markets), and the apportionment of markets (the practice of dividing up markets). The legislation helped eliminate monopolies in the meat industry (combined with the 1905 prosecution of the "Beef Trust" in the case of Swift and Company v. United States ). However, critics have charged that, like the tobacco industry, government regulation led to industry control by a handful of businesses.

See also: Trust, Trust-Busting

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