Interstate Commerce Commission

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Definition: Interstate Commerce Commission

Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was a regulatory commission formed by the Interstate Commerce Act, 1887 in United States of America. Initially created to supervise carriers like railroads, trucking companies, freight forwarders, water carriers, oil pipelines, ICC regulated interstate transportation during 1887-1995. It was a five member commission that was expanded to eleven members.

ICC was created to control monopolistic and unfair pricing practices but due to limited regulatory powers, it was not very successful. Elkins Act of 1903, Hepburn Act of 1906, etc. gradually allowed the agency to punish and wield more influence as well as work on consumer protection. ICC even regulated telephone and telegraph communications from1888-1934, when Federal Communications Commission was formed to handle the interstate communications.

Deregulation of interstate commerce and the Railroad Revitalization and Reform Act, 1976 reduced ICC’s power. ICC was disbanded in 1995, in favor of Department of Transportation where a three member team - Intermodal Surface Transportation Board was created to supervise the various duties earlier carried out by ICC.



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