Lesson Overview

The package consists of a compelling documentary film (DVD) built around antitrust cases and five lessons that provide background information and resources for teachers. The film and lessons are easily integrated into classroom settings and specifically developed to fit into 45 to 50 minute classes.

Through the use of the Fair Fight in the Marketplace documentary and lessons your students will watch actual FBI footage used by the US Department of Justice in antitrust trials and meet some of the people victimized by unfair competition across the country. These materials will help students see how antitrust law works to protect the average person’s rights in the marketplace. This standards-based initiative introduces topics such as: Why do we have antitrust laws? What is a monopoly? How are consumers protected by the law?

Fair Fight in the Marketplace: Lessons in Fair Competition Initiative will

  • provide practical understanding of antitrust and the legal system that can be useful to people in their everyday lives;
  • encourage effective and informed civic decision making about law and public policy related to competition and market fairness;
  • improve understanding of government’s role in implementation of antitrust laws and trying to assure fair business practices;
  • improve basic civic skills including creative and critical thinking, communication, observation and problem-solving

To view the complete transcript of the film, go here.

Lesson 1 – Why do we have antitrust laws?

In this lesson, students focus on the basic building blocks of antitrust law. Students will learn about the key provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act. They will identify the important characteristics of a free market economy and discuss some of the challenges presented. Students will also analyze the public policy concerns which are an important part of developing a “level playing field” for businesses. This session lays the groundwork for the next four lessons connected to the documentary.

Download LESSON 1

Lesson 2 – Does this violate the Sherman Act?

In this lesson students will learn about the history of antitrust. The idea is to give the viewers a quick overview of the history and rationale for antitrust, expose them to the main points included in the Sherman Act and involve them in some strategies where they apply their newly learned information.

Download LESSON 2

Lesson 3 – What are price fixing and collusion?

In this lesson students will learn about a world-wide price-fixing and collusion case. Students will look at the legal and ethical aspects of the corporate actions.

Download LESSON 3

Lesson 4 – What is unfair competition?

In this chapter students will look at a case involving companies that make generic drugs. The monopolization strategy of Mylan and the other defendants had direct impact on the price of two anti-anxiety drugs. This case underscores the importance of the governments role monitoring competition in the marketplace and how consumers can be hurt by antitrust violations.

Download LESSON 4

Lesson 5 – What is monopoly?

In general, antitrust laws govern competition in our free market economy. Their main focus is on maintaining fair competition. In this lesson students will look at monopoly power. When a firm has monopoly power it can raise prices, exclude competition, and stifle innovation. However, monopolies are not always illegal. This lesson expolores key questions that arise when companies cross the line from being a legal monopoly to illegal monopolizing.

Download LESSON 5