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The Rise And (Potential) Fall Of U.S. Cartel Enforcement, Vivek Ghosal, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2020

The Rise And (Potential) Fall Of U.S. Cartel Enforcement, Vivek Ghosal, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Government enforcement against collusion, now viewed by the Supreme Court as the “supreme evil” in antitrust, has gone through various phases of enforcement in the United States. There have been periods in which cartels have been able to collude more or less effectively given various institutional tools at the disposal of the government. By analyzing enforcement and prosecutions data over a long time horizon, 1969–2016, this Article examines the attributes of cartel enforcement over time and the changing use of tools to assist with detection and punishment. We provide a comprehensive description of critical cartel enforcement events and institutional ...


The Ncaa’S Transfer Rules: An Antitrust Analysis, Roger D. Blair, Wenche Wang Jan 2020

The Ncaa’S Transfer Rules: An Antitrust Analysis, Roger D. Blair, Wenche Wang

UF Law Faculty Publications

In Deppe v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Seventh Circuit accepted the NCAA’s argument that its transfer rules are presumptively procompetitive. It also approved the NCAA’s no-poaching agreement. This Article analyzes these NCAA-imposed restraints and finds them inconsistent with current antitrust policy.


Rethinking The Efficiency Of The Common Law, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2020

Rethinking The Efficiency Of The Common Law, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article shows how Posner and other scholars who claimed that common law was efficient misunderstood the structure of common law. If common law was more efficient, there would have been a noticeable push across most, if not all, doctrines to greater efficiency. This has not been the case. Rather, common law, better recast as a “platform,” could, under a certain set of parameters, lead to efficient outcomes. Next, the Article’s analysis suggests that while not every judge thinks about efficiency in decision-making, there must be some architectural or governance feature pushing in the direction of efficiency — which exists ...


Antitrust's "Curse Of Bigness" Problem, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2020

Antitrust's "Curse Of Bigness" Problem, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Tim Wu’s most recent book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the Gilded Age, is an attempt to reframe contemporary antitrust debates by returning antitrust to its more populist roots. Given the global implications of his ideas and policy proposals (including breakup of tech platforms) for many of the large corporations that he takes on, The Curse of Bigness offers profound insights for how society and business should be organized. The first part of this Review summarizes Wu’s major claims. It then highlights some of his critiques as to “bigness,” the multiple goals of antitrust, and the missed ...


Ohio V. American Express: Misunderstanding Two-Sided Platforms, The Charge Card 'Market,' And The Need For Procompetitive Justifications, Jeffrey L. Harrison Jan 2019

Ohio V. American Express: Misunderstanding Two-Sided Platforms, The Charge Card 'Market,' And The Need For Procompetitive Justifications, Jeffrey L. Harrison

UF Law Faculty Publications

In Ohio v. American Express Co., the United States Supreme Court had its first knowing encounter with what it incorrectly viewed as a two-sided platform in the context of American Express’ Non Disclosure Provisions (NDP). Under these provisions merchants accepting the American Express card for payment are not permitted to inform consumers that other cards charge merchants less for their use and that this could be reflected in the final price paid. The opinion includes poor reasoning, a lack of attention to precedent, and bad news for those who thought antitrust law was due for a revival. Yet, and perhaps ...


Reinvigorating Criminal Antitrust?, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2019

Reinvigorating Criminal Antitrust?, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Contemporary rhetoric surrounding antitrust in an age of populism has potential implications with regard to criminal antitrust enforcement. In areas such as resale price maintenance, monopolization, and Robinson-Patman violations, antitrust criminalization remains the law on the books. Antitrust populists and traditional antitrust thinkers who embrace a singular economic goal of antitrust push to enforce antitrust law that is already “on the books.” A natural extension of enforcement by the antitrust populists would be to advocate the use of criminal sanctions, outside of collusion, for various antitrust violations which are “on the books” but have not been used in over a ...


Troubled Waters Between U.S. And European Antitrust, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2017

Troubled Waters Between U.S. And European Antitrust, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Antitrust is an important area of law and policy for most companies in the world. Having divergent rules across antitrust systems means that the same economic behavior may be treated differently depending on the jurisdiction, leading to disparate outcomes in which one jurisdiction finds illegal behavior (but the other does not) when the underlying behavior may be pro-competitive. This disparate set of outcomes creates a world in which the most stringent antitrust system may produce the global standard. As a result, if the antitrust rules applied are too rigid, they threaten to hurt consumers not merely in the jurisdiction where ...


Understanding Online Markets And Antitrust Analysis, D. Daniel Sokol, Jingyuan Ma Jan 2017

Understanding Online Markets And Antitrust Analysis, D. Daniel Sokol, Jingyuan Ma

UF Law Faculty Publications

Antitrust analysis of online markets is a hot topic around the world. In a number of jurisdictions, online markets already have been subject to antitrust review in merger or conduct cases. In other jurisdictions, these issues are in a nascent stage of policy. A number of lessons can be learned from the cases to date involving online markets with regard to optimal antitrust policy. What these cases tend to share are some basic features as to how online markets work. Some jurisdictions understand the particular dynamics of multi-sided online markets. Other competition authorities sometimes may misidentify these markets. This essay ...


Untangling The Market And The State, Wentong Zheng Jan 2017

Untangling The Market And The State, Wentong Zheng

UF Law Faculty Publications

The government plays increasingly active and diversified roles in the modern economy. How to draw the boundary between the market and the state has emerged as a contentious issue in various areas of law, including constitutional law, antitrust, and international trade. This Article surveys and critiques the law’s current approaches to the market-versus-state divide, embodied in four tests based on ownership, control, function, and role, respectively. This Article proposes an alternative market-versus-state test based on the nature of the power being exercised in the challenged action. This power-based test not only better distinguishes between the market and the state ...


Other Markets, Other Costs: Modernizing Antitrust, Jeffrey L. Harrison Dec 2016

Other Markets, Other Costs: Modernizing Antitrust, Jeffrey L. Harrison

UF Law Faculty Publications

Today’s antitrust law is characterized by stagnation and indeterminacy. The failure is so thorough that it is not clear that U.S. competition law actually leads to any outcomes that are defendable except at the most superficial level. Moreover, when enforcement does result in a desirable outcome, it not clear that it is the best outcome. The principal reason for this state of affairs is that antitrust scholars and courts cling to misguided goals and theories that have not evolved despite an avalanche of information now available that can modernize the discipline.

This Article has two main sections that ...


Hospital Mergers And Economic Efficiency, Roger D. Blair, Christine Piette Durrance, D. Daniel Sokol Mar 2016

Hospital Mergers And Economic Efficiency, Roger D. Blair, Christine Piette Durrance, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Consolidation via merger both from hospital-to-hospital mergers and from hospital acquisitions of physician groups is changing the competitive landscape of the provision of health care delivery in the United States. This Article undertakes a legal and economic examination of a recent Ninth Circuit case examining the hospital acquisition of a physician group. This Article explores the Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa Inc. v. St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd. (St. Luke’s) decision—proposing a type of analysis that the district court and Ninth Circuit should have undertaken and that we hope future courts undertake when analyzing mergers in the health ...


Antitrust And Regulating Big Data, D. Daniel Sokol, Roisin E. Comerford Jan 2016

Antitrust And Regulating Big Data, D. Daniel Sokol, Roisin E. Comerford

UF Law Faculty Publications

The collection of user data online has seen enormous growth in recent years. Consumers have benefited from this growth through an increase in free or heavily subsidized services, better quality offerings, and rapid innovation. At the same time, the debate about Big Data, and what it really means for consumers and competition, has grown louder. Many have focused on whether Big Data even presents an antitrust issue, and whether and how harms resulting from Big Data should be analyzed and remedied under the antitrust laws. The academic literature, however, has somewhat lagged behind the policy debate, and a closer inspection ...


A Socio-Economic Approach To Antitrust: Unpacking Competition, Consumer Surplus, And Allocative Efficiency, Jeffrey L. Harrison Jan 2016

A Socio-Economic Approach To Antitrust: Unpacking Competition, Consumer Surplus, And Allocative Efficiency, Jeffrey L. Harrison

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article demonstrates the relationship between socio-economics and antitrust law. It uses socio-economics to both deconstruct the current economic foundation of antitrust policy and to suggest ways to improve that policy. There are four steps in this presentation. Part II examines the core elements of the economic approach to antitrust and its shortcomings, if any. For those even moderately versed in economics, it will note that the analysis begins at the most basic level. Obviously, antitrust is designed to make markets more competitive. But that goal is merely a means to the end of greater consumer surplus and allocative efficiency ...


Judicial Treatment Of The Antitrust Treatise, Hillary Greene, D. Daniel Sokol May 2015

Judicial Treatment Of The Antitrust Treatise, Hillary Greene, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

This essay examines Herbert Hovenkamp's influence in antitrust law and policy in the courts. This essay focuses its attention primarily with the Treatise and primarily in the area of merger law – procedural with issues of antitrust injury and substantively with merger efficiencies. The essay provides a case count citation analysis of Hovenkamp's scholarship and compares Hovenkamp to other major figures in antitrust scholarship (Bork and Posner) and to the other antitrust treatises (Kintner and Sullivan) in the courts. Our meta-level findings show that Hovenkamp is far more cited than other treatise writers or scholars who have been recognized ...


Quality-Enhancing Merger Efficiencies, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol May 2015

Quality-Enhancing Merger Efficiencies, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

The appropriate role of merger efficiencies remains unresolved in US antitrust law and policy. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to a significant shift in health care delivery. The ACA promises that increased integration and a shift from quantity of performance through increased competition will create a system in which quality will go up and prices will go down. Increasingly, due to the economic trends that respond to the ACA, including considerable consolidation both horizontally and vertically, it is imperative that the antitrust agencies provide an economically sound and administrable legal approach to efficiency enhancing mergers ...


Licensing Health Care Professionals, State Action And Antitrust Policy, Roger D. Blair, Christine Piette Durrance May 2015

Licensing Health Care Professionals, State Action And Antitrust Policy, Roger D. Blair, Christine Piette Durrance

UF Law Faculty Publications

In this Essay, we raise some economic concerns about the wisdom of conferring antitrust immunity on professional licensing boards, which are often comprised of members of the profession and therefore apt to be motivated by self-interest rather than the public interest. In Part II, we examine the political economy of special interest legislation, which suggests that little public good results from replacing competitive market forces with self-regulation. In Part III, we employ a basic economic model to generate predictions of the economic effects of professional licensing. Part IV provides a survey of the empirical research in this area, which confirms ...


Tensions Between Antitrust And Industrial Policy, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2015

Tensions Between Antitrust And Industrial Policy, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Sound antitrust law and policy is in tension with industrial policy. Antitrust promotes consumer welfare whereas industrial policy promotes government intervention for privileged groups or industries. Unfortunately, industrial policy seems to be alive and well both within antitrust law and policy and within a broader competition policy worldwide. This Article identifies how industrial policy impacts both antitrust and competition policy. It provides examples from the United States, Europe and China of how industrial policy has been used in antitrust. However, this Article also makes a broader claim that the overt or subtle use of industrial policy in antitrust and a ...


“Antitrust's Least Glorious Hour”: The Robinson-Patman Act, Roger D. Blair, Christina Depasquale Jan 2014

“Antitrust's Least Glorious Hour”: The Robinson-Patman Act, Roger D. Blair, Christina Depasquale

UF Law Faculty Publications

In The Antitrust Paradox, Robert Bork explored many of antitrust’s misadventures. Specifically, Bork severely criticized the Robinson-Patman Act, which he characterized as “antitrust’s least glorious hour.” In this paper, we explore Bork’s criticism of the Robinson-Patman Act along with those of other legal scholars and economists. We analyze the central prohibitions of the act and explore their competitive implications. We also show that the act’s unfortunate prohibitions have been muted by the antitrust agencies’ benign neglect and three recent Supreme Court decisions.


The Law And Economics Of (Functional) Antitrust Standing In The United States And The European Union, Jeffrey L. Harrison Jan 2014

The Law And Economics Of (Functional) Antitrust Standing In The United States And The European Union, Jeffrey L. Harrison

UF Law Faculty Publications

To date, and despite pressures toward convergence, the United States and the European Union have taken different paths with respect to the enforcement of antitrust laws by private parties and, therefore, differ dramatically in levels of functional standing. U.S. law is more encouraging to private enforcement than E.U. law but has a narrower view of whom those private parties are permitted to be. In the European Union, the eligible parties are broad but the motivation of any single party to bring an action is quite low. In the United States, the substantive law and much of the procedural ...


Policing The Firm, D. Daniel Sokol Dec 2013

Policing The Firm, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

Criminal price fixing cartels are a serious problem for consumers. Cartels are hard both to find and punish. Research into other kinds of corporate wrongdoing suggests that enforcers should pay increased attention to incentives within the firm to deter wrongdoing. Thus far, antitrust scholarship and policy have ignored this insight in the cartel context. This Article suggests how to improve antitrust enforcement by focusing enforcement efforts on changing the incentives of internal firm compliance.


Merger Control Under China's Anti-Monopoly Law, D. Daniel Sokol Oct 2013

Merger Control Under China's Anti-Monopoly Law, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

This essay explores the factors that drive merger outcomes under China's Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). While there are currently only a small number of published merger decisions, this paper overcomes that obstacle by utilizing a unique practitioner survey of antitrust lawyers across multiple jurisdictions. This survey captures transactions contemplated, but never undertaken (deterred by the merger regime), as well as mergers notified for approval under the AML. The survey allows for broader inferences to be drawn about the development of Chinese antitrust law, including: the welfare standard used in merger analysis, what industrial policy and other political factors may impact ...


Welfare Standards In U.S. And E.U. Antitrust Enforcement, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol Apr 2013

Welfare Standards In U.S. And E.U. Antitrust Enforcement, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

The potential goals of antitrust are numerous. Goals matter to antitrust. We believe that it is total welfare rather than consumer welfare that should drive antitrust analysis. We use this Article as an opportunity to explore both a comparative analysis of welfare standards across E. U. and US. competition systems and the impact of welfare standards on global antitrust systemwide welfare.

In this Article, we analyze two types of situations in which there would be a different outcome based on the goal implemented. One scenario involves resale price maintenance (RPM). For RPM, we argue that even if there were a ...


Josh Wright’S “Chicago School Papers”: An Overview, William H. Page Apr 2013

Josh Wright’S “Chicago School Papers”: An Overview, William H. Page

UF Law Faculty Publications

In what follows, I consider three of FTC Commissioner Josh Wright's “Chicago School Papers.” In these papers, Commissioner Wright considers the past, present, and future role of the Chicago School of antitrust analysis in the shaping of law and policy, offering along the way some interesting insights into what his priorities at the FTC are likely to be. The papers discussed have common themes: the mischaracterization of the “Chicago School,” the scientific advantage of dispensing altogether with “School” labels, and a focus on empirical findings in shaping antitrust analysis.


Objective And Subjective Theories Of Concerted Action, William H. Page Jan 2013

Objective And Subjective Theories Of Concerted Action, William H. Page

UF Law Faculty Publications

Communication is useful and often necessary for rivals to coordinate price and output decisions. All would agree that evidence of communication on these issues is relevant to the issue of whether firms reached an illegal agreement or engaged in concerted action in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Most courts and commentators would go further and define agreement and concerted action to require communication of one kind or another. I call this view the objective theory of concerted action. Louis Kaplow has recently challenged this approach in three important articles, all of which argue that the focus on ...


The Lessons From Libor For Detection And Deterrence Of Cartel Wrongdoing, Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz, D. Daniel Sokol Oct 2012

The Lessons From Libor For Detection And Deterrence Of Cartel Wrongdoing, Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

In late June 2012, Barclays entered into a $453 million settlement with UK and U.S. regulators due to its manipulation of Libor between 2005 and 2009. Among the agencies that investigated Barclays is the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (as well as other antitrust authorities and regulatory agencies from around the world). Participation in a price fixing conduct, by its very nature, requires the involvement of more than one firm.

We are cautious to draw overly broad conclusions until more facts come out in the public domain. What we note at this time, based on public information, is that ...


The Strategic Use Of Public And Private Litigation In Antitrust As Business Strategy, D. Daniel Sokol Mar 2012

The Strategic Use Of Public And Private Litigation In Antitrust As Business Strategy, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article claims that there may be a subset of cases in which private rights of action may work with public rights as an effective strategy for a firm to raise costs against rival dominant firms. A competitor firm may bring its own case (which is costly) and/or have government bring a case on its behalf (which is less costly). Alternatively, if the competitor firm has sufficient financial resources, it can pursue an approach that employs both strategies simultaneously. This situation of public and private misuse of antitrust may not happen often. As the Article will explore, it is ...


Antitrust Energy, D. Daniel Sokol, Barak Orbach Mar 2012

Antitrust Energy, D. Daniel Sokol, Barak Orbach

UF Law Faculty Publications

Marking the centennial anniversary of Standard Oil Co. v. United States, we argue that much of the critique of antitrust enforcement and the skepticism about its social significance suffer from “Nirvana fallacy” — comparing existing and feasible policies to ideal normative policies, and concluding that the existing and feasible ones are inherently inefficient because of their imperfections. Antitrust law and policy have always been and will always be imperfect. However, they are alive and kicking. The antitrust discipline is vibrant, evolving, and global. This essay introduces a number of important innovations in scholarship related to Standard Oil and its modern applications ...


The Rule Of Reason And The Goals Of Antitrust: An Economic Approach, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol Jan 2012

The Rule Of Reason And The Goals Of Antitrust: An Economic Approach, Roger D. Blair, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

In this paper, we discuss the problem of the rule of reason and the welfare standard in antitrust. We begin with the Introduction (Section I), which provides an overview of the problem. In Section II, we review the Supreme Court’s guidance on the standard for conducting a rule of reason analysis. Put simply, the Supreme Court has failed to identify clearly what standard to use in conducting a rule of reason inquiry. After a careful — albeit selective — reading of Supreme Court opinions it is simply not clear. While a case can be made for total welfare as the guiding ...


A Neo-Chicago Approach To Concerted Action, William H. Page Jan 2012

A Neo-Chicago Approach To Concerted Action, William H. Page

UF Law Faculty Publications

In this article, I offer an approach to concerted action that builds on traditional Chicago School analyses of the issue, but adds a focus on the role of communication. Chicago scholars uniformly identify cartels as the primary target of antitrust enforcement. They have also established much of the framework within which courts and economists analyze concerted action. George Stigler’s seminal theory of oligopoly, which sought to identify the determinants of effective collusion, has spawned an enormous literature in game theory that models the pricing behavior of oligopolists. Richard Posner’s early analysis of tacit collusion - rivals’ coordination of noncompetitive ...


Antitrust, Innovation, And Product Design In Platform Markets: Microsoft And Intel, William H. Page, Seldon J. Childers Jan 2012

Antitrust, Innovation, And Product Design In Platform Markets: Microsoft And Intel, William H. Page, Seldon J. Childers

UF Law Faculty Publications

The Antitrust Division’s Microsoft case and the Federal Trade Commission’s Intel case both rested on claims that antitrust intervention was necessary to preserve innovation in technological platforms at the heart of the personal computer. Yet, because those very platforms support markets that are among the most innovative in the American economy, injudicious intervention might well have jeopardized the very innovation that antitrust should promote. In this article, we review the role of platforms in technological innovation and consider how antitrust standards should apply to them. We then examine how Microsoft resolved antitrust issues affecting platform design at various ...