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Is there any proof that in a true free market monopolies actually can develop? Or in real life does a temporary monopoly merely attract competition until the monopoly doesn't exist anymore? And while government can play such a role, is that ever a positive thing? The US government's role in purportedly preventing monopolies certainly has sweeping negative effects.

Our antitrust laws were originally enacted to protect a large number of small regional monopolies against competition from a larger company with superior technology which enabled it to sell superior (more consistent) products at lower prices.

However, by the time Congress got around to enacting the laws, not only had the "damage" been done and most of the regional monopolists been driven out of business, but beyond that the one larger company had run out its technological advantage and was suffering declining market share as several other large companies were able to compete with it on price and quality.
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