But most fail to mention that antitrust, the law of competitive marketplaces, is the first area where Bork left his mark. In the 1950s, antitrust law was a sleepy domain filled with rigid rules and nonsensical results. Company A could not acquire Company B because of the blind application of a formula. Often, the companies being shut out would be small businesses run by ordinary people simply trying to survive.
Bork revolutionized antitrust law. He was one of the first to look at the benefits to consumers from changes in corporate structures. He used economic tools to evaluate costs and benefits. As a result, countless millions of Americans and American businesses benefited from a more enlightened approach to antitrust law.
Bork did not meet these ordinary American consumers or businesses. We did not appear in his classrooms or courtrooms. We never knew we owed him a debt of gratitude. And Bork would never have thought that anyone owed him a word of thanks.