Vanderbilt Law Review


Walter Adams

First Page



In October of 1976, the Vanderbilt Law Review published an article on vertical divestiture of the petroleum industry by Mr. Stark Ritchie, general counsel for the American Petroleum Institute. In his article, Mr. Ritchie examined the economic justifications for vertical integration in the oil industry, suggested several consequences of divestiture, and concluded that the remedy would be an inappropriate and inefficient method of increasing competition in the industry. In response to that article, Professor Adams examines the concentration of economic power in the petroleum industry, the relationship of vertical integration to the exercise of horizontal control, and the merits of the efficiency rationale for vertical integration. He concludes that functional vertical divestiture would be both technically and financially feasible and in the public interest.