Before the Interstate Commerce Commission: Comments of the Council on Wage and Price Stability

by Jakina Debnam on September 14, 1976
by Jakina Debnam, James C. Miller, William Lilley, Milton Kafoglis and Roy A. Nierenberg

On August 23, 1976, the Interstate Commerce Commission (Commission) issued in Ex Parte No. 320, Special Procedures for Making Findings of Market Dominance as Required by the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform (4R) Act of 1976. The Commission’s initial proposal in this docket was published in the Federal Register on March 16,1976 (41 FR 11034). The Commission’s Interim Report in this docket, transmitted on August 23, discusses the problem of defining market dominance for purposes of section 202 of the 4R Act and sets forth three principal situations in which market dominance would be presumed to obtain. The accompanying order of the Commission invited comments within twenty (20) days.
The Council on Wage and Price Stability (Council), a party to this proceeding by virtue of having filed comments on the Commission’s original notice, calls attention to the possible anticompetitive tendencies inherent in the Commission’s latest approach to defining market dominance. Though an improvement over the approach specified in the Commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking, the present approach still represents, in our judgment, a perversion of Congress’s intent in the 4R Act in that the result of implementing the proposed standards would be a continued stifling of competition in the surface transportation industry. The Council urges that the Commission examine these possible consequences and adopt an approach more in line with the pro-competitive, regulatory reform thrust of the 4R
Act.

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