forestall (for-stawl), vb.

1. To prevent (an event, result, etc.).

2. Hist. To intercept or obstruct (as a person on a royal highway).

3. Hist. To prevent (a tenant) from coming on the premises.

4. Hist. To intercept (as a deer reentering a forest).

5. Hist. To buy (goods) for the purpose of reselling at a higher price. ? At common law, this was an indictable offense. ¡ª Also spelled forstall. See FORESTALLING THE MARKET.

¡°[A] growing town in England might have placed a higher value on grain than a neighboring town with a static population, yet traditional patterns of business might continue to send the same amount of grain to both towns. A forestaller would bid against the traditional buyer in the smaller town, obtain the grain, and resell it where it could command a higher price in the larger town. Forestalling did not harm allocative efficiency. Indeed, it was a highly effective means of reallocating scarce goods to their most highly valued uses ¡ª the very definition of efficiency. Rather, forestalling was objectionable, and thus prohibited as a restraint of trade, because the bidding process necessarily resulted in higher grain prices in many parts of the country.¡± Stephen F. Ross, Principles of Antitrust Law 12 (1993).

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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.