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Antitrust

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Due Process In Antitrust Enforcement: Normative And Comparative Perspectives, Christopher S. Yoo, Yong Huang, Thomas Fetzer, Shan Jiang Dec 2020

Due Process In Antitrust Enforcement: Normative And Comparative Perspectives, Christopher S. Yoo, Yong Huang, Thomas Fetzer, Shan Jiang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Due process in antitrust enforcement has significant implications for better professional and accurate enforcement decisions. Not only can due process spur economic growth, raise government credibility, and limit the abuse of powers according to law, it also promotes competitive reforms in monopolized sectors and curbs corruption. Jurisdictions learn from the best practices in the investigation process, decisionmaking process, and the announcement and judicial review of antitrust enforcement decisions. By comparing the enforcement policies of China, the European Union, and the United States, this article calls for better disclosure of evidence, participation of legal counsel, and protection of the procedural and ...


Antitrust And Platform Monopoly, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2020

Antitrust And Platform Monopoly, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Are large digital platforms that deal directly with consumers “winner take all,” or natural monopoly, firms? That question is surprisingly complex and does not produce the same answer for every platform. The closer one looks at digital platforms the less they seem to be winner-take-all. As a result, competition can be made to work in most of them. Further, antitrust enforcement, with its accommodation of firm variety, is generally superior to any form of statutory regulation that generalizes over large numbers.

Assuming that an antitrust violation is found, what should be the remedy? Breaking up large firms subject to extensive ...


Competitive Harm From Vertical Mergers, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2020

Competitive Harm From Vertical Mergers, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The antitrust enforcement Agencies' 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines introduce a nontechnical application of bargaining theory into the assessment of competitive effects from vertical acquisitions. The economics of such bargaining is complex and can produce skepticism among judges, who might regard its mathematics as overly technical, its game theory as excessively theoretical or speculative, or its assumptions as unrealistic.

However, we have been there before. The introduction of concentration indexes, particularly the HHI, in the Merger Guidelines was initially met with skepticism but gradually they were accepted as judges became more comfortable with them. The same thing very largely happened again ...


The Looming Crisis In Antitrust Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2020

The Looming Crisis In Antitrust Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As in so many areas of law and politics in the United States, antitrust’s center is at bay. It is besieged by a right wing that wants to limit antitrust even more than it has been limited over the last quarter century. On the left, it faces revisionists who propose significantly greater enforcement.

One thing the two extremes share, however, is denigration of the role of economics in antitrust analysis. On the right, the Supreme Court’s two most recent antitrust decisions at this writing reveal that economic analysis no longer occupies the central role that it once had ...


The 2010 Hmgs Ten Years Later: Where Do We Go From Here?, Steven C. Salop, Fiona Scott Morton Jun 2020

The 2010 Hmgs Ten Years Later: Where Do We Go From Here?, Steven C. Salop, Fiona Scott Morton

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this short article, which is part of a RIO Symposium on the Tenth Anniversary of the 2010 Merger Guidelines, we suggest a number of improvements that should be considered in the next revision of the Guidelines. Our analysis is based on the observation that horizontal merger policy has suffered from under-enforcement. We provide evidence that the enforcement agencies face significant resource constraints which require a triage process that inevitably leads to under-enforcement. In light of merger law placing greater weight on avoiding false negatives and under-deterrence than false positive and over-deterrence, the article suggests a number of ways in ...


The Limits Of Antitrust In The 21st Century, Thomas A. Lambert Jun 2020

The Limits Of Antitrust In The 21st Century, Thomas A. Lambert

Faculty Publications

Antitrust is having a moment. Commentators and policymakers, both progressive and conservative, are calling for increased antitrust enforcement to address all manner of social ills. From technology platforms' power over speech and encroachments on user privacy to wage stagnation in more concentrated labor markets, to competition softening from ever-larger index funds, to growing income inequality, reduced innovation, and threats to democracy itself - the list of maladies for which antitrust has been proposed as a remedy goes on and on.

This Article revisits The Limits of Antitrust in light of the current antitrust moment. Part I describes the central components of ...


Can Covid-19 Get Congress To Finally Strengthen U.S. Antitrust Law?, Robert H. Lande, Sandeep Vaheesan May 2020

Can Covid-19 Get Congress To Finally Strengthen U.S. Antitrust Law?, Robert H. Lande, Sandeep Vaheesan

All Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 pandemic could cause Congress to strengthen our merger laws. The authors of this short article strongly urge Congress to do this, but to do this in a manner that ignores 5 myths that underpin current merger policy:

Myth 1: Mergers Eliminate Wasteful Redundancies and Produce More Efficient Businesses
Myth 2: Current Merger Enforcement Protects Consumers
Myth 3: Merger Remedies Preserve Competition
Myth 4: The Current Merger Review System Offers Transparency and Guidance to Businesses and the Public
Myth 5: Corporations Need Mergers to Grow


House Judiciary Inquiry Into Competition In Digital Markets: Statement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2020

House Judiciary Inquiry Into Competition In Digital Markets: Statement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a response to a query from the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, requesting my views about the adequacy of existing antitrust policy in digital markets.

The statutory text of the United States antitrust laws is very broad, condemning all anticompetitive restraints on trade, monopolization, and mergers and interbrand contractual exclusion whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.” Federal judicial interpretation is much narrower, however, for several reasons. One is the residue of a reaction against excessive antitrust enforcement in the 1970s and earlier. However, since that time ...


Submission Of Robert H. Lande To House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Investigation Of Digital Platforms, Robert H. Lande Apr 2020

Submission Of Robert H. Lande To House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Investigation Of Digital Platforms, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee asked me to submit suggestions concerning the adequacy of existing antitrust laws, enforcement policies, and enforcement levels insofar as they impact the state of competition in the digital marketplace. My submission recommends the following nine reforms:

1. A textualist analysis of the Sherman Act shows that Section 2 actually is a no-fault monopolization statute. At a minimum Congress should enact a strong presumption that every firm with a 67% market share has violated Section 2. This would move the Sherman Act an important step in the right direction, the direction Congress intended in 1890. My ...


Vertical Merger Enforcement Actions: 1994–April 2020, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley Apr 2020

Vertical Merger Enforcement Actions: 1994–April 2020, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

We have revised our earlier listing of vertical merger enforcement actions by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission since 1994. This revised listing includes 66 vertical matters beginning in 1994 through April 2020. It includes challenges and certain proposed transactions that were abandoned in the face of Agency concerns. This listing can be treated as an Appendix to Steven C. Salop and Daniel P. Culley, Revising the Vertical Merger Guidelines: Policy Issues and an Interim Guide for Practitioners, 4 JOURNAL OF ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT 1 (2016).


The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo Apr 2020

The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

The world’s largest businesses must routinely police other businesses. By public mandate, Facebook monitors app developers’ privacy safeguards, Citibank audits call centers for deceptive sales practices, and Exxon reviews offshore oil platforms’ environmental standards. Scholars have devoted significant attention to how policy makers deploy other private sector enforcers, such as certification bodies, accountants, lawyers, and other periphery “gatekeepers.” However, the literature has yet to explore the emerging regulatory conscription of large firms at the center of the economy. This Article examines the rise of the enforcer-firm through case studies of the industries that are home to the most valuable ...


Asymmetric Stakes In Antitrust Litigation, Erik Hovenkamp, Steven C. Salop Mar 2020

Asymmetric Stakes In Antitrust Litigation, Erik Hovenkamp, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Private antitrust litigation often involves a dominant firm being accused of exclusionary conduct by a smaller rival or entrant. Importantly, the firms in such cases generally have asymmetric stakes: the defendant typically has a much larger financial interest on the line. We explore the broad policy implications of this fact using a novel model of litigation with endogenous effort. Asymmetric stakes lead dominant defendants to invest systematically more resources into litigation, causing the plaintiff's success probability to fall below the efficient level--a distortion that carries over to ex ante settlements. We explain that enhanced damages may reduce the problem ...


On The Meaning Of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2020

On The Meaning Of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This brief essay addresses the ambiguities in the meaning of “consumer welfare” in antitrust, exploring the differences between the Williamson, Bork, and current understanding of that term. After weighing the alternatives it argues that the consumer welfare principle in antitrust should seek out that state of affairs in which output is maximized, consistent with sustainable competition


Justice Department's New Position On Patents, Standard Setting, And Injunctions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2020

Justice Department's New Position On Patents, Standard Setting, And Injunctions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A deep split in American innovation policy has arisen between new economy and old economy innovation. In a recent policy statement, the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department takes a position that tilts more toward the old economy. Its December, 2019, policy statement on remedies for Standard Essential Patents issued jointly with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Institute of Standards and Technology reflects this movement.

The policy statement as a whole contains two noteworthy problems: one is a glaring omission, and the other is a mischaracterization of the scope of antitrust liability. Both positions are ...


Antitrust And Two-Sided Platforms: The Failure Of American Express, John B. Kirkwood Jan 2020

Antitrust And Two-Sided Platforms: The Failure Of American Express, John B. Kirkwood

Faculty Scholarship

Two-sided platforms serve two sets of customers and enable them to interact with each other. The five most valuable corporations in America – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – all operate two-sided platforms. But despite their growing power, the Supreme Court's American Express decision has made it harder to stop them from stifling competition. This Article systematically exposes the flaws in the Court's reasoning and identifies the principles that should govern future cases. The Court’s most fundamental error was to require plaintiffs in rule of reason cases to make an initial showing of consumer harm that weighs the ...


Ethnically Segmented Markets, Felix B. Chang Jan 2020

Ethnically Segmented Markets, Felix B. Chang

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Races often collide in segmented markets where buyers belong to one ethnic group while sellers belong to another. This Article examines one such market: the retail of wigs and hair extensions for African Americans, a multi-billion-dollar market controlled by Korean Americans. Although previous scholarship attributed the success of Korean American ventures to rotating credit and social capital, this Article ascribes their dominance in wigs and extensions to collusion and exclusion, tactics scrutinized under antitrust.

This Article is the first to synthesize the disparate treatment of ethnically segmented markets in law, sociology, and economics into a comprehensive framework. Its primary contribution ...


Inside Baseball: Justice Blackmun And The Summer Of '72, Savanna L. Nolan Jan 2020

Inside Baseball: Justice Blackmun And The Summer Of '72, Savanna L. Nolan

Articles, Chapters and Online Publications

This article examines the historical context of Justice Blackmun's infamous opinion from Flood v. Kuhn, also known as the baseball case. Analysis includes discussion of recently re-discovered personal letters between Justices Powell and Blackmun.


Mining The Harvard Caselaw Access Project, Felix B. Chang, Erin Mccabe, James Lee Jan 2020

Mining The Harvard Caselaw Access Project, Felix B. Chang, Erin Mccabe, James Lee

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Essay illustrates how machine learning can disrupt legal scholarship through the algorithmic extraction and analysis of big data. Specifically, we utilize data from Harvard Law School’s Caselaw Access Project to model how courts tackle two thorny question in antitrust: the measure of market power and the balance between antitrust and regulation.


Antitrust In Attention Markets: Objections And Responses, John M. Newman Jan 2020

Antitrust In Attention Markets: Objections And Responses, John M. Newman

Articles

The modern antitrust enterprise finds itself under attack. Critics complain that enforcement agencies have done nothing to stem an ever-rising tide of market concentration and corporate power. At the center of this critique lies Silicon Valley, home of a new generation of tech giants.

This symposium contribution contends that attention markets represent the largest sector of the modern economy to have gone unnoticed by antitrust regulators. If it is to fulfill its congressional mandate, the antitrust enterprise must begin paying attention to attention markets. A number of objections to this straightforward point have been raised, but each collapses under close ...


What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin Jan 2020

What’S In Your Wallet (And What Should The Law Do About It?), Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In traditional markets, firms can charge prices that are significantly elevated relative to their costs only if there is a market failure. However, this is not true in a two-sided market (like Amazon, Uber, and Mastercard), where firms often subsidize one side of the market and generate revenue from the other. This means consideration of one side of the market in isolation is problematic. The Court embraced this view in Ohio v. American Express, requiring that anticompetitive harm on one side of a two-sided market be weighed against benefits on the other side.

Legal scholars denounce this decision, which, practically ...


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 ...


Brief Of Amicus Curiae Professor Jorge L. Contreras In Support Of Appellee And Affirmance In Ftc V. Qualcomm, Jorge L. Contreras Jan 2020

Brief Of Amicus Curiae Professor Jorge L. Contreras In Support Of Appellee And Affirmance In Ftc V. Qualcomm, Jorge L. Contreras

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

Qualcomm participated in the development of 3G and 4G wireless telecommunication standards under the auspices of two SDOs, the Telecommunications Industry Association (“TIA”) and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (“ATIS”). Each of these SDOs had adopted intellectual property rights policies (IPR Policies) that required their participants to grant licenses of SEPs to implementers of their standards on FRAND terms. Yet, over the course of several years, Qualcomm refused to license its SEPs to numerous actual and potential modem chip rivals including MediaTek, Project Dragonfly (a joint venture of NTT DoCoMo, Samsung and several Japanese manufacturers), Samsung, VIA Telecom, Intel ...


Frand And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2020

Frand And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper considers when a patentee’s violation of a FRAND commitment also violates the antitrust laws. It warns against two extremes. First, is thinking that any violation of a FRAND obligation is an antitrust violation as well. FRAND obligations are contractual, and most breaches of contract do not violate antitrust law. The other extreme is thinking that, because a FRAND violation is a breach of contract, it cannot also be an antitrust violation.

Every antitrust case must consider the market environment in which conduct is to be evaluated. SSOs operated by multiple firms are joint ventures. Antitrust’s role ...


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 Omega Man Or The Isolation Of U.S. Antitrust Law, Spencer Weber Waller Jan 2020

The Omega Man Or The Isolation Of U.S. Antitrust Law, Spencer Weber Waller

Faculty Publications & Other Works

There is a classic science fiction novel and film that present a metaphor for the isolation of United States antitrust law in the current global context. Richard Mathiesson's 1954 classic science fiction novel, I am Legend, and the later 1971 film released under the name of The Omega Man starring Charleton Heston, both deal with the fate of Robert Neville, a survivor of a world-wide pandemic who believes he is the last man on Earth.

While I am Legend and The Omega Man are obviously works of fantasy, it nonetheless has resonance for contemporary antitrust debate and discourse. United ...


Probability, Presumptions And Evidentiary Burdens In Antitrust Analysis: Revitalizing The Rule Of Reason For Exclusionary Conduct, Andrew I. Gavil, Steven C. Salop Jan 2020

Probability, Presumptions And Evidentiary Burdens In Antitrust Analysis: Revitalizing The Rule Of Reason For Exclusionary Conduct, Andrew I. Gavil, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The conservative critique of antitrust law has been highly influential and has facilitated a transformation of antitrust standards of conduct since the 1970s and led to increasingly more permissive standards of conduct. While these changes have taken many forms, all were influenced by the view that competition law was over-deterrent. Critics relied heavily on the assumption that the durability and costs of false positive errors far exceeded those of false negatives.

Many of the assumptions that guided this retrenchment of antitrust rules were mistaken and advances in the law and in economic analysis have rendered them anachronistic, particularly with respect ...


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.


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 ...


Competition Policy Retrospective: The Formation Of The United Launch Alliance And The Ascent Of Spacex, William E. Kovacic Jan 2020

Competition Policy Retrospective: The Formation Of The United Launch Alliance And The Ascent Of Spacex, William E. Kovacic

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

In May 2005, Boeing and Lockheed Martin announced plans to form the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture which combined the only two suppliers of medium-to-heavy national security related launch services to the U.S. government. The Federal Trade Commission reviewed the transaction’s antitrust implications and, in consultation with the Department of Defense, approved the deal in October 2006 subject to restrictions governing ULA’s relationship other satellite manufacturers and providers of launch services. The DOD endorsed the transaction on the ground that the joint venture would increase launch reliability by concentrating production and launch services in a single ...


In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo Jan 2020

In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Calls for breaking up monopolies—especially Amazon, Facebook, and Google—have largely focused on proving that past acquisitions of companies like Whole Foods, Instagram, and YouTube were anticompetitive. But scholars have paid insufficient attention to another major obstacle that also explains why the government in recent decades has not broken up a single large company. After establishing that an anticompetitive merger or other act has occurred, there is great skepticism of breakups as a remedy. Judges, scholars, and regulators see a breakup as extreme, frequently comparing the remedy to trying to “unscramble eggs.” They doubt the government’s competence in ...