Interstate Commerce Act Law and Legal Definition

The Interstate Commerce Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1887 and created the Interstate Commerce Commission. It was designed to address the concerns about the monopoly of the railroads in existence at the time. It was a law that established the right of Congress to regulate private corporations engaged in interstate commerce.

Interstate commerce refers to the purchase, sale or exchange of commodities, transportation of people, money or goods, and navigation of waters between different states. Interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government as authorized under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. The federal government can also regulate commerce within a state when it may impact interstate movement of goods and services and may strike down state actions which are barriers to such movement.