Members of a presidential study commission on antitrust yesterday put a tentative stamp of approval on efforts to deregulate the trucking industry.
At a meeting called to discuss recommendations they will be making on antitrust immunities and related regulatory issues, it was announced that 14 of 15 members voting favored substantial deregulation of the trucking industry including elimination of Interstate Commerce Commission control over entry and rates and elimination of the industry's antitrust exemption.
The fifteenth member favored removal of the antitrust exemption.
The preliminary tally shows strong support for announced plans of the Carter administration and the legislative initiatives of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate antitrust and monopoly subcommittee who will soon become chairman of the full Judiciary Committee. Kennedy is a member of the commission.
The panel - the full name is the National Commission for the Review of the Antitrust Laws and Procedures - was appointed by President Carter in May to study and make recommendations on ways to expedite complex antitrust cases and to consider whether current antitrust immunities and exemptions are justified.
Extensive hearing have been held in the last four months on the topics and the staff is in the process of writing a final report based on the commission members' views. The commission has a six-months life.
While there are 22 members of the panel, only 15 responded to the vote requested.
Another Kennedy initiative that won wide support was the Competition Improvements Act he has introduced. The bill would require that agencies whose actions may have an anticompetitive effect must determine that the action is justified by an over-riding statutory purposes of the action could not be accomplished by a less anticompetitive approach.