- An Act that significantly expanded the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was originally formed in 1887 to supervise interstate railway commerce. Following a Supreme Court ruling in 1897, which weakened its power, the Hepburn Act was established amid increasing public demand for effective regulation of interstate railroad rates. The Act made it a requirement for railroads to get the ICC's approval before raising rates, laying the groundwork for the current understanding of consumer protection via government regulation
- The introduction of the Hepburn Act marked a turning point in the control of interstate railroad rates.
- The Hepburn Act served as a precursor to the notion of consumer protection by government regulation in the United States.
- Before implementing an increase in their rates, railroad companies had to acquire approval from the Interstate Commerce Commission under the terms of the Hepburn Act.