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Antitrust

2012

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Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

Robert Bork's Controversial Legacy, Robert H. Lande Dec 2012

Robert Bork's Controversial Legacy, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

Judge Robert Bork was undeniably one of the towering figures in antitrust history. He advanced the field positively in many respects, articulating a serious critique of excesses of an earlier social-political approach to antitrust. But as one of the conservative movement’s intellectual godfathers he also shares responsibility for many of their own excesses that have transformed our nation in harmful ways. This short essay explores some of the effects of his overall approach to antitrust: his preoccupation with economic efficiency.


Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2012

Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Keogh decision the Supreme Court held that although the Interstate Commerce Act did not exempt railroads from antitrust liability, a private plaintiff may not recover treble damages based on an allegedly monopolistic tariff rate filed with a federal agency. Keogh very likely grew out of Justice Brandeis's own zeal for regulation and his concern for the protection of small business — in this case, mainly shippers whom he felt were protected from discrimination by filed rates. The Supreme Court's Square D decision later conceded that Keogh may have been “unwise as a matter of policy,” but reaffirmed ...


Antitrust And Nonexcluding Ties, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2012

Antitrust And Nonexcluding Ties, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Notwithstanding hundreds of court decisions, tying arrangements remain enigmatic. Conclusions that go to either extreme, per se legality or per se illegality, invariably make simplifying assumptions that frequently do not obtain. For example, by ignoring double marginalization or tying product price cuts it becomes very easy to prove that a wide range of ties are anticompetitive. At the other extreme, by ignoring foreclosure possibilities one can readily conclude that ties are invariably benign.

Ties have historically been thought to produce two kinds of competitive harm: “leverage,” or extraction; and foreclosure, or exclusion. The two theories are not mutually exclusive. Indeed ...


Cartels As Rational Business Strategy: Crime Pays, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Dec 2012

Cartels As Rational Business Strategy: Crime Pays, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

This article is the first to analyze whether cartel sanctions are optimal. The conventional wisdom is that the current level of sanctions is adequate or excessive. The article demonstrates, however, that the combined level of current United States cartel sanctions is only 9% to 21% as large as it should be to protect potential victims of cartelization optimally. Consequently, the average level of United States anti-cartel sanctions should be approximately quintupled.

The United States imposes a diverse arsenal of sanctions against collusion: criminal fines and restitution payments for the firms involved and prison, house arrest and fines for the corporate ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 5 (2d Ed): Competition And Innovation In Copyright And The Dmca, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2012

Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 5 (2d Ed): Competition And Innovation In Copyright And The Dmca, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book of CASES AND MATERIALS ON INNOVATION AND COMPETITION POLICY is intended for educational use. The book is free for all to use subject to an open source license agreement. It differs from IP/antitrust casebooks in that it considers numerous sources of competition policy in addition to antitrust, including those that emanate from the intellectual property laws themselves, and also related issues such as the relationship between market structure and innovation, the competitive consequences of regulatory rules governing technology competition such as net neutrality and interconnection, misuse, the first sale doctrine, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA ...


Antitrust’S State Action Doctrine And The Ordinary Powers Of Corporations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Antitrust’S State Action Doctrine And The Ordinary Powers Of Corporations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court has now agreed to review the Eleventh Circuit's decision in Phoebe-Putney, which held that a state statute permitting a hospital authority to acquire hospitals implicitly authorized such acquisitions when they were anticompetitive – in this particular case very likely facilitating a merger to monopoly. Under antitrust law’s “state action” doctrine a state may in fact authorize such an acquisition, provided that it “clearly articulates” its desire to approve an action that would otherwise constitute an antitrust violation and also “actively supervises” any private conduct that might fall under the state’s regulatory scheme.

“Authorization” in the ...


Rethinking Rand: Sdo-Based Approaches To Patent Licensing Commitments, Jorge Contreras Oct 2012

Rethinking Rand: Sdo-Based Approaches To Patent Licensing Commitments, Jorge Contreras

Working Papers

So-called “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (RAND) licensing commitments have been utilized by standards-development organizations (SDOs) for years in an attempt to alleviate the risk of patent hold-up in standard-setting. These commitments, however, have proven to be vague and offer few assurances to product vendors or patent holders. A recent surge of international litigation concerning RAND commitments has brought this issue to the attention of regulators, industry and the public, and many agree that a better approach is needed. In this paper, I identify seven “first principles” that underlie the licensing and enforcement of standards-essential patents (SEP)s. These can be summarized ...


Antitrust And The Costs Of Movement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Antitrust And The Costs Of Movement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust is rightfully concerned about the structure of markets as well as the bargaining that occurs in them. As a result, the absolute cost of redeploying resources can be just as important as the transaction costs of arranging for their movement. This paper examines several broad themes in antitrust, considering the role of various assumptions about the costs of getting resources moved toward superior positions and the ability of the antitrust system to facilitate this movement. Part II very briefly examines structuralism as a theory underlying antitrust enforcement, particularly its assumptions about the difficulty and costs of moving resources. Harvard ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


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 ...


How The Ftc Could Beat Google, Robert H. Lande, Jonathan L. Rubin Oct 2012

How The Ftc Could Beat Google, Robert H. Lande, Jonathan L. Rubin

All Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is rumored to be deciding whether to bring a “pure Section 5” case against Google as a result of complaints that the company unfairly favors its own offerings over those of its rivals in its search results. But the case will fail miserably at the hands of a reviewing court and the agency will be confined to relatively non-controversial enforcement violations if the FTC fails to impose upon itself a tightly bounded and constrained legal framework that contains clear limiting principles. The only way a court will allow the FTC to pursue a pure ...


Price-Fixing: Hefty Penalties On Big-Biz Cartels Will Provide Level Playing Field To Small Businesses, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Aug 2012

Price-Fixing: Hefty Penalties On Big-Biz Cartels Will Provide Level Playing Field To Small Businesses, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

Cartels are illegal in India, as they are almost everywhere. They are subject to heavy fines. Why, then, do businesses frequently try to fix prices? Because doing so usually is profitable. On average cartels raise prices by more than 20%, and probably face less than a 25% chance of being caught and convicted. Based upon a sample of 75 international cartels, the authors calculate that the expected profits from price fixing almost always exceed the penalties. No wonder businesses often try to fix prices.


Consumer Choice As The Best Way To Describe The Goals Of Competition Law, Robert H. Lande Aug 2012

Consumer Choice As The Best Way To Describe The Goals Of Competition Law, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

This article is both a short introduction to the Consumer Choice explanation for Competition Law or Antitrust Law, and also a short advocacy piece suggesting that Consumer Choice is the best way to articulate the goals of European Competition Law and United States Antitrust Law.

This article briefly:

  1. defines the consumer choice approach to antitrust or competition law and shows how it differs from other approaches;
  2. shows that the antitrust statutes and theories of violation embody a concern for optimal levels of consumer choice;
  3. shows that the United States antitrust case law embodies a concern for optimal levels of consumer ...


Danbury Hatters In Sweden: An American Perspective Of Employer Remedies For Illegal Collective Actions, César F. Rosado Marzán, Margot Nikitas Aug 2012

Danbury Hatters In Sweden: An American Perspective Of Employer Remedies For Illegal Collective Actions, César F. Rosado Marzán, Margot Nikitas

All Faculty Scholarship

The European Court of Justice's ("ECJ") Laval quartet held that worker collective actions that impacted freedom of services and establishment in the E.U. violated E.U. law. After Laval, the Swedish Labor Court imposed exemplary or punitive damages on labor unions for violating E.U. law. These cases have generated critical discussions regarding not only the proper balance between markets and workers’ freedom of association, but also what should be the proper remedies for employers who suffer illegal actions by labor unions under E.U. law. While any reforms to rebalance fundamental freedoms as a result of the ...


Innovation And Competition Policy: Statutory Supplement And Other Materials, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2012

Innovation And Competition Policy: Statutory Supplement And Other Materials, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Supplement to Cases and Materials on Innovation and Competition Policy includes the following: (1) a statutory supplement containing relevant provisions of the antitrust laws, the Patent Act, the Copyright Act, and the DMCA: (2) an annotated table of contents. Other supplemental materials, including discussion of recent decisions or other developments, will be added from time to time.

This book will be supplemented frequently as important new decisions or other developments occur. However, the author will attempt not to revise individual chapters during the course of the academic semester in order to avoid confusion in pagination or printing. Instead, supplemental ...


Section 2 Enforcement And The Great Recession: Why Less (Enforcement) Might Mean More (Gdp), Alan J. Meese Mar 2012

Section 2 Enforcement And The Great Recession: Why Less (Enforcement) Might Mean More (Gdp), Alan J. Meese

Faculty Publications

The Great Recession has provoked calls for more vigorous regulation in all sectors, including antitrust enforcement. After President Obama took office, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice abandoned the Bush Administration’s standard of liability under section 2 of the Sherman Act, which forbids unlawful monopolization, as insufficiently interventionist. Based on the premise that similarly lax antitrust enforcement caused and deepened the Great Depression, the Obama Administration outlined a more intrusive and consumer-focused approach to section 2 enforcement as part of a larger national strategy to combat the “extreme” economic crisis the nation was then facing.

This Essay ...


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 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 ...


The Supreme Court's Renewed Focus On Inefficiently Structured Joint Ventures, Stephen F. Ross Jan 2012

The Supreme Court's Renewed Focus On Inefficiently Structured Joint Ventures, Stephen F. Ross

Journal Articles

Antitrust courts and commentators have long appreciated that joint ventures among rival firms have the potential to provide benefits to consumers and the economy through synergies and economies of scale, but also raise the potential of lessening competition among the venture principals. The case law and academic literature have often ignored, however, the potential harm that befalls consumers when joint ventures with market power are structured in a manner that gives the principals the ability to direct policy and a strategy in a manner that advances their parochial self-interest, rather than the interests of the venture-as-a-whole. The Supreme Court's ...


Were Standard Oil's Railroad Rebates And Drawbacks Cost Justified?, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

Were Standard Oil's Railroad Rebates And Drawbacks Cost Justified?, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

In this essay, written for a symposium on the centennial anniversary of the Supreme Court's Standard Oil decision, I reexamine the costjustification question. In the first part, I explain why the cost-justification question is central to the entire case and its acquired and evolving historical meaning. In the second part, I review the evidence of claimed efficiencies passed on to the railroads. I conclude that there is evidence that Standard Oil passed along significant cost savings to the railroads and that these savings could have justified a portion of the rebates and drawbacks. However, I conclude that there is ...


The Obama Justice Department's Merger Enforcement Record: An Armchair Reply To Baker And Shapiro, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

The Obama Justice Department's Merger Enforcement Record: An Armchair Reply To Baker And Shapiro, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

My recent Essay, Has the Obama Justice Department Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement?, examined the three major areas of antitrust enforcement—cartels, mergers, and civil non-merger—and argued that, contrary to some popular impressions, the Obama Justice Department has not “reinvigorated” antitrust enforcement. Jonathan Baker and Carl Shapiro have published a response, which focuses solely on merger enforcement. Baker and Shapiro’s argument that the Obama Justice Department actually did reinvigorate merger enforcement is unconvincing.


Too Libor, Too Late: Time To Move To A Market Rate, Michael S. Barr Jan 2012

Too Libor, Too Late: Time To Move To A Market Rate, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Barclays has been fined, the British have issued their report, and now the market is anxious for everything to go on as usual with the London Interbank Offer Rate (“LIBOR”). I think that would be a serious mistake. The U.S. and British investigations into rate-fixing by Barclays revealed a widespread culture of pervasive, deceitful conduct in the setting of the most important private sector benchmark for over $300 trillion in derivative contracts and $10 trillion in adjustable-rate loans. It is highly unlikely that Barclays was the only major bank engaging in this conduct, and public investigations and private lawsuits ...


Search Neutrality As An Antitrust Principle, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

Search Neutrality As An Antitrust Principle, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Given the Internet's designation as "the great equalizer,"' it is unsurprising that nondiscrimination has emerged as a central aspiration of web governance.2 But, of course, bias, discrimination, and neutrality are among the slipperiest of regulatory principles. One person's bias is another person's prioritization. Fresh on the heels of its initial success in advocating a net neutrality principle,' Google is in the uncomfortable position of trying to stave off a corollary principle of search neutrality.' Search neutrality has not yet coalesced into a generally understood principle, but at its heart is some idea that Internet search engines ...


Has The Obama Justice Department Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement?, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

Has The Obama Justice Department Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement?, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The Justice Department’s recently filed antitrust case against Apple and several major book publishers over e-book pricing, which comes on the heels of the Justice Department’s successful challenge to the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, has contributed to the perception that the Obama Administration is reinvigorating antitrust enforcement from its recent stupor. As a candidate for President, then-Senator Obama criticized the Bush Administration as having the “weakest record of antitrust enforcement of any administration in the last half century” and vowed to step up enforcement. Early in the Obama Administration, Justice Department officials furthered this perception ...


Tying And Consumer Harm, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

Tying And Consumer Harm, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Brantley raises important issues of law, economics, and policy about tying arrangements. Under current legal principles, Brantley was on solid ground in distinguishing between anticompetitive ties and those that might harm consumer interests without impairing competition. As a matter of economics, the court was also right to reject the claim that the cable programmers forced consumers to pay for programs the customers didn’t want. The hardest question is a policy one - whether antitrust law should ever condemn the exploitation of market power in ways that extract surplus from consumers but do not create or enlarge market power. I shall ...


A Neo-Chicago Perspective On Antitrust Institutions, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2012

A Neo-Chicago Perspective On Antitrust Institutions, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

It has long been fashionable to categorize antitrust by its "schools." From the Sherman Act's passage to World War II, there were (at least) neo-classical marginalism, populism, progressivism, associationalism, business commonwealthism, and Brandeisianism. From World War II to the present, we have seen (at least, and without counting the European Ordo-Liberals) PaleoHarvard structuralism, the Chicago School, Neo-Harvard institutionalism, and Post -Chicagoans. So why not Neo-Chicago? I am already on record as suggesting the possible emergence of such a school, so it is too late for me to dismiss the entire "schools" conversation as window-dressing. This Symposium is dedicated to ...


Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2012

Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Patents create strong incentives for collaborative development. For many technologies fixed costs are extremely high in relation to variable costs. A second feature of technology that encourages collaborative development is the need for interoperability or common standards. Third, in contrast to traditional commons, intellectual property commons are almost always nonrivalrous on the supply side. If ten producers all own the rights to make a product covered by a patent, each one can make as many units as it pleases without limiting the number that others can make. That might seem to be a good thing, but considered ex ante it ...


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 ...


Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande Jan 2012

Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

This short piece takes a first step toward providing the empirical bases for an assessment of the benefits of private enforcement. It presents evidence showing that private enforcement of the antitrust laws is serving its intended purposes and is in the public interest. Private enforcement helps compensate victimized consumers, and it also helps deter anticompetitive conduct. This piece demonstrates this by briefly summarizing a more detailed analysis of forty of the largest recent successful private antitrust cases.

To analyze these cases' compensation effects this presents, inter alia, the amount of money each action recovered, what proportion of the money was ...