Vanderbilt Law Review

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The Sherman Act and the Clayton Act are efforts by Congress to promote a free and competitive economy and to compensate those injured by anticompetitive activities. To supplement government enforcement, section 7 of the Sherman Act provided a means of combating antitrust violations through private treble damage actions. Section 4 of the Clayton Act, which superseded section 7 of the Sherman Act with only slight modification, provides for treble damage actions by "any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws"....

In light of the uncertainty regarding private consumer standing under section 4, this Recent Development will analyze the relevant legislative history, the case authority, and the policy concerns underlying antitrust law to determine the correct application of standing to private consumers. This Recent Development suggests that the denial of standing to private consumers frustrates the purposes of section 4 and is contrary to the legislative histories of the Sherman and Clayton Acts and to existing case authority.