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Fenceposts Without A Fence, Katherine E. Dr Lucido, Nicholas K. Tabor, Jeffery Y. Zhang Aug 2022

Fenceposts Without A Fence, Katherine E. Dr Lucido, Nicholas K. Tabor, Jeffery Y. Zhang

Articles

Banking organizations in the United States have long been subject to two broad categories of regulatory requirements. The first is permissive: a “positive” grant of rights and privileges, typically via a charter for a corporate entity, to engage in the business of banking. The second is restrictive: a “negative” set of conditions on those rights and privileges, limiting conduct and imposing a program of oversight and enforcement, by which the holder of that charter must abide. Together, these requirements form a legal cordon, or “regulatory perimeter,” around the U.S. banking sector.


Alston And The Dejudicialization Of Antitrust, Richard D. Friedman Aug 2021

Alston And The Dejudicialization Of Antitrust, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

A curious feature of NCAA v. Alston is the shoe that didn’t drop, at least not immediately. “Put simply,” Justice Gorsuch wrote for a unanimous Court, “this suit involves admitted horizontal price fixing in a market where the defendants exercise monopoly control.” Given that this pronouncement occurred on page fourteen of the Court’s opinion, one might have expected that the opinion would end on, say, page fifteen, for if there has been one fixed point in American antitrust law it has been that horizontal price-fixing, especially but not only by those with monopoly power, is per se illegal. Instead, the …


Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2021

Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Judges and scholars frequently describe antitrust as a common-law system predicated on open-textured statutes, but that description fails to capture a historically persistent phenomenon:judicial disregard of the plain meaning of the statutory texts and manifest purposes of Congress. This pattern of judicial nullification is not evenly distributed: when the courts have deviated from the plain meaning or congressional purpose, they have uniformly done so to limit the reach of antitrust liability or curtail the labor exemption to the benefit of industrial interests. This phenomenon cannot be explained solely or even primarily as a tug-of-war between a progressive Congress and conservative …


Ecosystem Competition And The Antitrust Laws, Daniel A. Crane Oct 2019

Ecosystem Competition And The Antitrust Laws, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Conventional antitrust norms analyze market power—as a stepping stone to anticompetitive effects and, hence, prohibited conduct—from the perspective of product substitutability. Two goods or services are said to compete with one another when they are reasonably interchangeable from the perspective of consumers, or to put it in more formal economic terms, when there is cross-elasticity of demand between them. Conversely, when two goods or services are not reasonably interchangeable, they are not horizontally related and are said not to compete with one another. Since a concern over horizontal agreements and horizontal effects dominate antitrust—courts even analyze vertical agreement or merger …


Scrutinizing Anticompetitive State Regulations Through Constitutional And Antitrust Lenses, Daniel A. Crane May 2019

Scrutinizing Anticompetitive State Regulations Through Constitutional And Antitrust Lenses, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

State and local regulations that anticompetitively favor certain producers to the detriment of consumers are a pervasive problem in our economy. Their existence is explicable by a variety of structural features—including asymmetry between consumer and producer interests, cost externalization, and institutional and political factors entrenching incumbent technologies. Formulating legal tools to combat such economic parochialism is challenging in the post-Lochner world, where any move toward heightened judicial review of economic regulation poses the perceived threat of a return to economic substantive due process. This Article considers and compares two potential tools for reviewing such regulations—a constitutional principle against anticompetitive parochialism …


Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane Sep 2018

Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Antitrust law stands at its most fluid and negotiable moment in a generation. The bipartisan consensus that antitrust should solely focus on economic efficiency and consumer welfare has quite suddenly come under attack from prominent voices calling for a dramatically enhanced role for antitrust law in mediating a variety of social, economic, and political friction points, including employment, wealth inequality, data privacy and security, and democratic values. To the bewilderment of many observers, the ascendant pressures for antitrust reforms are flowing from both wings of the political spectrum, throwing into confusion a conventional understanding that pro-antitrust sentiment tacked left and …


Further Reflections On Antitrust And Wealth Inequality, Daniel A. Crane Oct 2017

Further Reflections On Antitrust And Wealth Inequality, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Since I have already published a lengthy academic article on antitrust and wealth inequality, I have the freedom of using this piece to present the key arguments unvarnished by dense citations or technical details (readers interested in those things should consult my earlier article) and to respond to some of the criticisms of my article that have since been levied. My thesis, before and now, is this: claims that antitrust enforcement advances income or wealth progressivity are overstated and rest on simplistic and unrealistic understandings of how antitrust actually operates. While some enforcement actions may generate progressive results, others will …


Why Intra-Brand Dealer Competition Is Irrelevant To The Price Effects Of Tesla's Vertical Integration, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2017

Why Intra-Brand Dealer Competition Is Irrelevant To The Price Effects Of Tesla's Vertical Integration, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

"In recent years, Tesla Motors (recently renamed Tesla) has been engaged in a state-by-state ground way for the right to distribute it’s all-electric vehicles directly to consumers. The car dealers' lobby, with the political backing of General Motors, has fiercely battled back, relying on decades-old state dealer protection laws to argue that Tesla is legally bound to distribute through franchised dealers. Through a combination of favorable state legislative and judicial decisions, Tesla has won the right to distribute directly in many states, but remains categorically barred from direct distribution in important states like Michigan and Texas--and hence all direct distribution …


Antitrust And Wealth Inequality, Daniel Crane Apr 2016

Antitrust And Wealth Inequality, Daniel Crane

Articles

In recent years, progressive public intellectuals and prominent scholars have asserted that monopoly power lies at the root of wealth inequality and that increases in antitrust enforcement are necessary to stem its rising tide. This claim is misguided. Exercises of market power have complex, crosscutting effects that undermine the generality of the monopoly regressivity claim. Contrary to what the regressivity critics assume, wealthy shareholders and senior corporate executives do not capture the preponderance of monopoly rents. Such profits are broadly shared within and dissipated outside the firm. Further, many of the subjects of antitrust law are middle-class professionals, sole proprietors, …


Tesla, Dealer Franchise Laws, And The Politics Of Crony Capitalism, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2016

Tesla, Dealer Franchise Laws, And The Politics Of Crony Capitalism, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Public choice theory has long proclaimed that business interests can capture regulatory processes to generate economic rents at the expense of consumers. Such political exploitation may go unnoticed and unchallenged for long time periods because, though the rents are captured by a relatively small number of individuals or firms, the costs are widely diffused over a large number of consumers. The triggering event to expose and mobilize opposition to the regulatory capture may not arise until a new technology seeks to challenge the incumbent technology, thus creating a motivated champion to expose and oppose the regulatory capture and advocate for …


The Pendulum Swings: Reconsidering Corporate Criminal Prosecution, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2016

The Pendulum Swings: Reconsidering Corporate Criminal Prosecution, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

Corporate crime continues to occur at an alarming rate, yet disagreement persists among scholars and practitioners about the role of corporate criminal prosecution. Some argue that corporations should face criminal prosecution for their misconduct, while others would reserve criminal prosecution for individual corporate officials. Perhaps as a result of this conflict, there has been a dramatic increase over the last decade in the use of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements for some corporate crimes, even as the government continues to bring criminal charges for other corporate crimes. To move beyond our erratic approach to corporate crime, we need a better …


Formalism And Functionalism In Antitrust Treatment Of Loyalty Rebates: A Comparative Perspective, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2016

Formalism And Functionalism In Antitrust Treatment Of Loyalty Rebates: A Comparative Perspective, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

It is a widely held belief that U.S. antitrust law has long been characterized by economic functionalism and that European antitrust law has long been characterized by legal formalism.' The received wisdom began to change in Europe a decade ago when the Directorate General Competition of the European Commission (DG Comp) began to advocate a more "effects-based" analysis of abuse of dominance. Two factors arguably contributed to this change. First, the DG Comp became increasingly influenced by economists who had little use for the old formalism. Second, as Europe trie to spread antitrust to developing antitrust regimes across the world-and, …


Balancing Effects Across Markets, Daniel A. Crane Oct 2015

Balancing Effects Across Markets, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

In Philadelphia National Bank (PNB), the Supreme Court held that it is improper to weigh a merger's procompetitive effects in one market against the merger's anticompetitive effects in another. The merger in question, which ostensibly reduced retail competition in the Philadelphia area, could not be justified on the grounds that it increased competition against New York banks and hence perhaps enhanced competition in business banking in the mid-Atlantic region. I will refer to the Supreme Court's prohibition on balancing effects across markets as a "market-specificity" rule. Under this rule, efficiencies that may counterbalance anticompetitive aspects must be specific to …


All I Really Need To Know About Antitrust I Learned In 1912, Daniel A. Crane May 2015

All I Really Need To Know About Antitrust I Learned In 1912, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Herbert Hovenkamp has indisputably earned the deanship of contemporary antitrust scholarship. One could point to many different attributes by which he has earned his laurels: fantastic scholarly productivity; clarity and precision in the craft of writing; analytical depth in both law and economics; moderation in a field apt to polarization; and custodianship of the influential Areeda treatise. In this Essay, I hope to honor another quality that has contributed significantly to Herb’s tremendous success as an antitrust scholar—his engagement with history. Much contemporary antitrust scholarship bursts with excitement at the discovery of new phenomena or theories that in all actuality …


Conditional Pricing And Monopolization: A Reflection On The State Of Play, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2015

Conditional Pricing And Monopolization: A Reflection On The State Of Play, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Conditional pricing practices--including bundled discounting, loyalty rebating, and market share discounts--are not new phenomena in the U.S. market. Their potentially exclusionary consequences were raised in antitrust cases decades ago. But unlike trying or exlcusive dealing--which have a rich hsitory of case law and scholarly converage--conditioanl pricing practices did not emerge as salient to the antitrust community until a little over a decade ago. Two federal appellate decisions in the early 2000s--Concord Boar on market share rebates adn LePage's on bundled discounting--sparked a period of intensive interest and activity on these topics in teh antitrust agencies, courts, bench, and legal …


Market Power Without Market Definition, Daniel A. Crane Dec 2014

Market Power Without Market Definition, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Antitrust law has traditionally required proof of market power in most cases and has analyzed market power through a market definition/market share lens. In recent years, this indirect or structural approach to proving market power has come under attack as misguided in practice and intellectually incoherent. If market definition collapses in the courts and antitrust agencies, as it seems poised to do, this will rupture antitrust analysis and create urgent pressures for an alternative approach to proving market power through direct evidence. None of the leading theoretic approaches—such as the Lerner Index or a search for supracompetitive profits—provides a robust …


Tesla And The Car Dealers' Lobby, Daniel A. Crane Jun 2014

Tesla And The Car Dealers' Lobby, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Tesla Motors, the offspring of entrepreneur Elon Musk (who brought us Pay-Pal and SpaceX), is the most exciting automotive development in many decades and a marquee story of American technological dynamism and innovation. The company’s luxury electric cars have caused a sensation in the auto industry, including a review by Consumer Reports calling Tesla’s Model S the best car it ever tested. Despite the acclaim, Tesla faces enormous challenges Despite the acclaim, Tesla faces enormous challenges in penetrating an automotive market that has been dominated for a century by internal combustion engines. Not only must it build cars that customers …


After Search Neutrality: Drawing A Line Between Promotion And Demotion, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

After Search Neutrality: Drawing A Line Between Promotion And Demotion, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The Federal Trade Commission's (“FTC” or “the commission”) January 3, 2013 decision to close its longstanding investigation of Google1 brings to a close a flurry of discussion over the possibility that Google could become subject to a “search neutrality” principle in the United States. Although the Commission found against Google on several grounds, it rejected petitions from Google's critics to create a search neutrality principle as a matter of antitrust law. This essay briefly analyzes what remains of U.S. antitrust scrutiny of Internet search bias after the Google settlement. In particular, it suggests that a sensible line can be drawn …


The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Of all Robert Bork’s many important contributions to antitrust law, none was more significant than his identification of economic efficiency, disguised as consumer welfare, as the sole normative objective of U.S. antitrust law. The Supreme Court relied primarily on Bork’s argument that Congress intended the Sherman Act to advance consumer welfare in making its landmark statement in Reiter v. Sonotone that “Congress designed the Sherman Act as a ‘consumer welfare prescription.’” This singular normative vision proved foundational to the reorientation of antitrust law away from an interventionist, populist, Brandeisian, and vaguely Jeffersonian conception of antitrust law as a constraint on …


Actavis, The Reverse Payment Fallacy, And The Continuing Need For Regulatory Solutions, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

Actavis, The Reverse Payment Fallacy, And The Continuing Need For Regulatory Solutions, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The Actavis decision punted more than it decided. Although narrowing the range of possible outcomes by rejecting the legal rules at the extremes and opting for a rule of reason middle ground, the opinion failed to grapple with the most challenging issues of regulatory policy raised by pharmaceutical patent settlements. In particular, it failed to clearly delineate the social costs of permitting and disallowing patent settlements, avoided grappling with the crucial issues of patent validity and infringement, and erroneously focused on “reverse payments” as a distinctive antitrust problem when equally or more anticompetitive settlements can be crafted without reverse payments. …


"The Magna Carta Of Free Enterprise" Really?" , Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

"The Magna Carta Of Free Enterprise" Really?" , Daniel A. Crane

Articles

In U.S. v. Topco Associates, Inc., Justice Thurgood Marshall announced that "[a] ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.", In The Antitrust Constitution, Thomas Nachbar takes seriously the idea that federal antitrust laws serve a constitutional function. He argues that, contrary to common assumptions, the antitrust laws cannot be understood merely as a form of economic utilitarianism. Rather, they serve the additional purpose of preventing "regulatory harm," the assertion of law-like control over the conduct of others outside the sphere of one's own property interests.


Bargaining Over Loyalty, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Bargaining Over Loyalty, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Contracts between suppliers and customers frequently contain provisions rewarding the customer for exhibiting loyalty to the seller. For example, suppliers may offer customers preferential pricing for buying a specified percentage of their requirements from the supplier or buying minimum numbers of products across multiple product lines. Such loyalty-inducing contracts have come under attack on antitrust grounds because of their potential to foreclose competitors or soften competition by enabling tacit collusion among suppliers. This Article defends loyalty inducement as a commercial practice. Although it can be anticompetitive under some circumstances, rewarding loyal customers is usually procompetitive and price reducing. The two …


Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Although commentators frequently debate how judges should decide antitrust cases substantively, little attention has been paid to theories of judicial virtue in antitrust decision making. This essay considers four pairings of virtues: (1) striving for substantive purity versus conceding to institutional realism; (2) incrementalism versus generalism; (3) presenting a unified face versus candidly conceding differences among judges on an appellate panel; and (4) adhering strictly to stare decisis versus freely updating precedents to reflect evolving economic learning or conditions. While recognizing the complexities that sometimes pull judges in the opposite direction, this Article gives the nod to institutional realism, incrementalism, …


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 against …


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 little …


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 ought not to prefer …


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 by withdrawing the …


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 …


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.


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 defining …