It is worth while t the outset to distinguish clerly between the specil control over public utilities nd the regultion of industries in generl. Under the police power, stte hs the right to regulte ny business. This sort of regultion hs to do with sfety devices, conditions of helth nd well being of employees, nd, with more or less defined limittions, the generl welfre of the public (King, 2000).
The regultion of public utilities, however, is of different sort ltogether. It embrces the right to control the very orgniztion nd conduct of the enterprise. It is concerned not only with sfety nd welfre, but with the rtes chrged the public nd the returns or profits relized by the business, s well s with the products or services furnished. In the so-clled unregulted business the right to such interference is not recognized. fter ll resonble provisions for the public welfre hve been mde, ordinry business is still free to furnish such services or products s it desires, chrge such prices or rtes s it is ble to exct, nd conduct its finncil mngement ccording to its own purposes or contrctul rrngements.
The right to regulte in the specil sense ws first recognized in the celebrted cse of Munn v. Illinois, decided by the Supreme Court of the United Sttes in 1876. ...Show more