The Department of Transportation's plan to return Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) to the private sector by selling the federal government's controlling interest to Norfolk Southern Corporation has, not surprisingly, been the subject of a spirited debate in the transportation and political community since its announcement in February, 1985. Critics have said that the sale proposal "runs directly contrary to [antitrust] policy goals" and would have a serious, adverse effect on competition. The proposal is a "flagrant violation of antitrust laws and would create an unconscionable monopoly." The purpose of this article is to examine the legal standards historically and currently applied to considering the competitive impacts of rail consolidations in conjunction with the goals of the legislation relating to Conrail. With that perspective, a viewpoint will be offered as to whether the competitive effects of the proposed sale have been addressed in a manner consistent with those standards and goals.
Mark D. Perreault & Nancy S. Fleischman, Loss of Rail Competition as an Issue in the Proposed Sale of Conrail to Norfolk Southern: Valid Concern or Political Bogeyman, 34 Clev. St. L. Rev. 413 (1985-1986)