Attorney Howard Ullman of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP recently offered his remarks upon Senate Bill 2269, introduced by Senator Rand Paul. Entitled the â€śAnti-Trust Freedom Act of 2012â€ť, the bill defines itself as a bill designed â€ś[t]o permit voluntary economic activity.â€ť Â
Ullman highlighted the full text of the bill, noting that the core intention of the bill intends to repeal anti-trust protection strategies. The full text stated that:
â€śThe Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. 1et seq.), the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12et seq.), and section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15U.S.C. 45) shall not be construed to prohibit, ban, or otherwise extend to any voluntary economic coordination, cooperation, agreement, orÂ other association, compact, contract, or covenant enteredÂ into by or between any individual or group of individuals.â€ť
Ullman noted the oddity of the absence of corporations in the bill, and brought up an interesting and likely conundrum: what if individuals conspire with corporations? Who is then excused from the new laws? â€śSince corporations can act only through individualsâ€ť, Ullman says, â€śdoes the bill by indirect implication exempt corporations, too?â€ť Although at its core the bill seems to go against fair and equal business, there is still the possibility that the bill could be enacted.