Robert Bork, in a series of articles on the revision of legislation and his book The Antitrust Paradox, criticized court decisions on cartels and abuse of dominance in the United States.  Bork argued that the original purpose of cartel and abuse legislation and economic efficiency is to pursue only consumer welfare, competition protection and not competitors.  In addition, only a few acts should be prohibited, namely agreements that set prices and divide markets, mergers that create monopolies, and dominant firms that are predatory, while allowing practices such as vertical agreements and tariff discrimination because they have not harmed consumers.  The diverging criticism of U.S. antitrust policy is that state intervention in the functioning of free markets does more harm than good.  “The only remedy for bad theory,” Bork writes, “is a better theory.”  Harvard Law School professor Philip Areeda, who advocates a more aggressive antitrust policy, challenged Robert Bork`s preference for non-interference in at least one Supreme Court case.  Monopolies generally have an unfair advantage over their competition, either because they are the sole supplier of a product or because they control most of their market share or customers for their product. Although monopolies may differ from industry to industry, they tend to have similar characteristics: the supply industry is the place where natural or state-approved monopolies flourish. As a general rule, there is only one large (private) company that provides energy or water in a region or municipality.
Monopoly is permitted because these suppliers result in high costs for the production of electricity or water and the provision of these essential elements to each local household and business, and it is considered more efficient that there is a single provider of these services. In continental Europe, the principles of competition have developed in lex mercatoria. The Constitutions juris metallici of Venceslas II of Bohemia between 1283 and 1305, which condemn the combination of mineral dealers who raise prices, are examples of legislation that anchor the principles of competition; the municipal statutes of Florence in 1322 and 1325 followed Zeno`s legislation against state monopolies; and under Emperor Charles V, in the Holy Roman Empire, a law was passed “to avoid the losses due to monopolies and inoperable contracts that many merchants and craftsmen made in the Netherlands.”