A Classical View on Anti-trust Law

Anti-trust cases are complicated, philosophically speaking, because they deal with the question of how big is too big. In laissez-faire economics, competition is a natural and dynamic process, with ups and downs. Today you hear this phrased as “the market is cyclical,” but the idea is very similar. Except that there will be certain players that dominate the market for various reasons.
Antitrust, in these scenarios, is seen as unnecessary.
Let’s take this example to the extreme to see what we mean, and we’ll use Standard Oil as the monopoly in question. By the time the company was dismantled, it controlled transportation routes that lowered costs for its operations. It was sitting on cash reserves so large that it could afford to take losses in order to cut competition out of the market.
If the government had not intervened, the next logical route for Standard Oil was price fixing. This was actually part of the long list of accusations journalists levied against the company at the time. If prices went up, companies that could produce oil and service local customers with agility would prosper while Standard Oil loses market share. If prices go down, companies would lay off workers in response to attempt taking home a profit. Those workers would be rehired when conditions improved.
However, classical views on anti-trust do allow some interference under certain conditions. In the case of Standard Oil, the backroom deal between the company and railroads may have been cause for concerns under the classical perspective.