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Sherman Antitrust Act

Definition of "Sherman antitrust act"

1890 law prohibiting monopolies and restraint of trade in interstate commerce. The Sherman Act was strengthened in 1914 with amendments known as the Clayton Act that added further prohibitions against price-fixing conspiracies. These federal antitrust laws at first were not applied to the insurance industry because of the 1869 Supreme Court ruling in Paul V. Virginia that insurance was not commerce and thus not subject to federal regulation. After the south-eastern underwriters association (SEUA) case in 1944 and passage of the mccarran-ferguson act (public law 15) in 1945, Congress made it clear that states would retain the power to regulate insurance but price-fixing and restraint of trade not sanctioned by state laws and regulations would be subject to federal antitrust prosecution.

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