Many sectors of the business world, in US, have long criticized the government regulations and the restrictive nature of business practices. Most businesses often cite the regulations as an impediment to the small, and corporate business profits, and a waste of time and effort. The regulations had been denounced and side-stepped since the early 20th century when the anti-trust laws and income tax laws were enacted.
The anti-trust laws address the following; price discrimination, conspiring to fixed market prices, conspiring to boycotts, monopolization, and conspiring to allocation of markets and consumers. Businesses have to discuss prices with competitors, even when such prices affect small markets. Dominant industrial powers are used in securing favorable prices of goods and services from the buyers (Federal Trade Commission, n.d). The laws also provide for preservation of monopolistic position of businesses through the acquisition of competitors, exclusion of competitors in given markets, and control of market prices (Washington State Office of the ATTORNEY GENERAL, n.d).
Since the enactment of the anti-trust laws, followed by periodic increments in corporate taxes, and increasing restrictive and complex regulatory laws governing business practices, the American business community has been an opponent of the business laws. In an ever increasing blizzard of regulations, the American business community has suffered and prospered as a consequence of government actions. Concurrently, the consumers have been protected from discrimination, price adjustments, and exploitive business practices by those same rules.
If fairness, balance, and competitive business practices are anything to go by as per the intentions of the business laws, in US, then the regulations can only be said to favor the corporate world. Most small businesses and entrepreneurs have been forced out of the market as a result of the anti-trust and corporate tax laws. Businesses view the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as costly, and this makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to hire people or conduct businesses. For instance, the permitting procedure on construction is expensive, delays businesses, and discourages potential investors.
Nevertheless the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974, aims to give businesses competitive and fair operating environment. This covers for the limitations or weaknesses in the anti-trust laws. The Competition and Consumer Act provide for the anti-competitive conduct, price fixations, business ethics and code of conduct, and marketing issues such as advertising. This implies that it is the effort applied into a business, and not its size that matters for success.
Another target on business practices is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The disposal of waste materials, restriction in production of green house emissions, pollutants and toxic substances, and material harmful to air, land, and water are regulated by EPA. Businesses top, which there regulations apply complain that the restrictions compromise on their profits.
Despite cries by many business organizations in the country, the United States remains the highly ranked when in consideration to starting a business. Companies who embrace the regulations and act accordingly view the regulations as adequate, protective, relatively streamlined, and balanced. Large businesses do not have the powers to compel smaller businesses out of the market as was the case before the introduction of the anti-trust laws. Price adjustments have to be in compliance with the law, and from negotiations from all performing business leaders (Federal Trade Commission, n.d). This protects the small businesses from discrimination and loss.
The laws have offered patent and trademarks protection to all businesses, and this has promoted competition from protected innovations and illegal infringement by competitors. Matters of securities and exchange have been catered for as far as the businesses comply to the provisions. This encourages fairness in investment and competition (West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, n.d). The current business practices are a system that incorporates effective anti-competitive behavior (Federal Trade Commission, n.d). This has encouraged the development of a competitive culture, in which responsible business boards and leaders recognize the benefits of the regulations.
With the systems, businesses have managed to cope with the harsh competitive forces from both within the country, and foreign investors. The aim of the regulations to further fairness, balance and competitiveness has been accomplished. As much as small businesses may feel demoralized or discouraged from the expenses that go with the regulations, most of their needs have been covered. The businesses have been offered protection from competitive powers, and this secures their place in the market. Even with these regulations, America remains as the best place in the world where most investors look forward to invest their monies.
Bottom line, the US government, is a friend of business, provides advisory, financial, and other forms of service to the business fraternity. This promotes business fairness, and its competitive nature. Simultaneously, the government is also a friend to the American consumer and acts to the interest of protecting consumers. While businesses may oppose some aspects of the business laws and regulations, they may also endorse other some of these requirements to achieve their goals (Federal Trade Commission, n.d). The conflict between the regulations and businesses may never be resolved, and as technological breakthroughs continue, the dual nature of business and government relation may become increasingly more collaborative and regulatory compared to the current situation.
Federal Trade Commission. (No date). Guide to Antitrust Laws. Work cited, http://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws
Washington State Office of the ATTORNEY GENERAL. (No date). Safeguarding consumers: Antitrust/unfair trade practices. Work cited, http://www.atg.wa.gov/antitrustguide.aspx#.UuFdaaxRVdg
West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. (No date). ANTITRUST LAW. Work cited, http://iris.nyit.edu/~shartman/mba0101/trust.htm