Antitrust Laws and the First Amendment
Over the years, Congress has adopted legislation to discourage the concentration of business ownership in the United States. The
Sherman Antitrust Act, for example, makes it illegal to monopolize or engage in practices that restrain trade.
In some cases, the courts have had to consider antitrust law in light of First Amendment rights of petition and a free press.
Associated Press v. United States (1945) upheld an injunction against The
Associated Press for violating anti-trust laws, saying the anti-trust law
promoted the First Amendment.
Citizen Publishing Co. v. United States (1969) affirmed that two newspapers
run under a joint operating agreement were not exempt from antitrust laws
by the First Amendment.
Eastern Railroad Presidents Conference v. Noerr Motor Freight, Inc. (1961)
held that the First Amendment protected a railroad publicity campaign
FTC v. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association (1990) said the First
Amendment didn’t protect a boycott of a system of reduced-fee legal
services for sheer monetary gain.
Lorain Journal Co. v. United States (1951) said punishing a newspaper for
attempting to monopolize interstate commerce did not infringe on the First
Amendment freedom of the press.
National Society of Professional Engineers v. United States (1978) said
First Amendment protections did not prevent the government from limiting