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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 ...


Is The Digital Economy Too Concentrated?, Jonathan Klick Nov 2020

Is The Digital Economy Too Concentrated?, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Concentration in the digital economy in the United States has sparked loud criticism and spurred calls for wide-ranging reforms. These reforms include everything from increased enforcement of existing antitrust laws, such as challenging more mergers and breaking up firms, to an abandonment of the consumer welfare standard. Critics cite corruption and more systemic public choice problems, while others invoke the populist origins of antitrust to slay the digital Goliaths. On the other side, there is skepticism regarding these arguments. This chapter continues much of that skepticism.


Network Effects In Action, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2020

Network Effects In Action, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Chapter begins by examining and exploring the theoretical and empirical limits of the possible bases of network effects, paying particular attention to the most commonly cited framework known as Metcalfe’s Law. It continues by exploring the concept of network externalities, defined as the positive external consumption benefits that the decision to join a network creates for the other members of the network, which is more ambiguous than commonly realized. It then reviews the structural factors needed for models based on network effects to have anticompetitive effects and identifies other factors that can dissipate those effects. Finally, it identifies ...


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 Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman Sep 2020

The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The idea of a public health insurance option is at least a half century old, but has not yet had its day in the limelight. This chapter explains why if that moment ever comes, health care’s public option will fall short of expectations that it will provide a differentiated, meaningful alternative to private health insurance and will spur health insurance competition.

Health care’s public option bubbled up in its best-known form in California in the early 2000s and got increasing mainstream attention in the lead up to the 2010 health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ...


The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2020

The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A symposium examining the contributions of the post-Chicago School provides an appropriate opportunity to offer some thoughts on both the past and the future of antitrust. This afterword reviews the excellent papers with an eye toward appreciating the contributions and limitations of both the Chicago School, in terms of promoting the consumer welfare standard and embracing price theory as the preferred mode of economic analysis, and the post-Chicago School, with its emphasis on game theory and firm-level strategic conduct. It then explores two emerging trends, specifically neo-Brandeisian advocacy for abandoning consumer welfare as the sole goal of antitrust and the ...


Introduction: The Power Of Global Performance Indicators, Judith G. Kelley, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2019

Introduction: The Power Of Global Performance Indicators, Judith G. Kelley, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In recent decades, IGOs, NGOs, private firms and even states have begun to regularly package and distribute information on the relative performance of states. From the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index to the Financial Action Task Force blacklist, Global Performance Indicators (GPIs) are increasingly deployed to influence governance globally. We argue that GPIs derive influence from their ability to frame issues, extend the authority of the creator, and—most importantly —to invoke recurrent comparison that stimulate governments' concerns for their own and their country's reputation. Their public and ongoing ratings and rankings of states are particularly ...


Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Mergers of competitors are conventionally challenged under the federal antitrust laws when they threaten to lessen competition in some product or service market in which the merging firms sell. Mergers can also injure competition in markets where the firms purchase. Although that principle is widely recognized, very few litigated cases have applied merger law to buyers. This article concerns an even more rarefied subset, and one that has barely been mentioned. Nevertheless, its implications are staggering. Some mergers may be unlawful because they injure competition in the labor market by enabling the post-merger firm anticompetitively to suppress wages or salaries ...


Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

An important purpose of the antitrust merger law is to arrest certain anticompetitive practices or outcomes in their “incipiency.” Many Clayton Act decisions involving both mergers and other practices had recognized the idea as early as the 1920s. In Brown Shoe the Supreme Court doubled down on the idea, attributing to Congress a concern about a “rising tide of economic concentration” that must be halted “at its outset and before it gathered momentum.” The Supreme Court did not explain why an incipiency test was needed to address this particular problem. Once structural thresholds for identifying problematic mergers are identified there ...


Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A lengthy tug of war between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals may have ended when the Supreme Court held that the sale of a patented article exhausts the patentee seller’s rights to enforce restrictions on that article through patent infringement suits. Further, reversing the Federal Circuit, the parties cannot bargain around this rule through the seller’s specification of conditions stated at the time of sale, no matter how clear. No inquiry need be made into the patentee’s market power, anticompetitive effects, or other types of harms, whether enforcement of the condition is ...


Horizontal Mergers, Market Structure, And Burdens Of Proof, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Jan 2018

Horizontal Mergers, Market Structure, And Burdens Of Proof, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1963 decision in Philadelphia National Bank, antitrust challengers have mounted prima facie cases against horizontal mergers that rested on the level and increase in market concentration caused by the merger, with proponents of the merger then permitted to rebut by providing evidence that the merger will not have the feared anticompetitive effects. Although the way that concentration is measured and the triggering levels have changed over the last half century, the basic approach has remained intact. This longstanding structural presumption, which is well supported by economic theory and evidence, has been critical to effective ...


An Unsung Success Story: A Forty-Year Retrospective On U.S. Communications Policy, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2017

An Unsung Success Story: A Forty-Year Retrospective On U.S. Communications Policy, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Looking backwards on the occasion of Telecommunications Policy’s fortieth anniversary reveals just how far U.S. communications policy has come. All of the major challenges of 1976, such as promoting competition in customer premises equipment, long distance, and television networking, have largely been overcome. Moreover, new issues that emerged later, such as competition in local telephone service and multichannel video program distribution, have also largely been solved. More often than not, the solution has been the result of structural changes that enhanced facilities-based competition rather than agency-imposed behavioral requirements. Moreover, close inspection reveals that in most cases, prodding by ...


Predatory Pricing Under The Areeda-Turner Test, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2015

Predatory Pricing Under The Areeda-Turner Test, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Few works of legal scholarship have had the impact enjoyed by Areeda and Turner's 1975 article on predatory pricing. Proof of predatory pricing under the Areeda-Turner test requires two things. The plaintiff must show a market structure such that the predator could rationally foresee "recouping the losses through higher profits earned in the absence of competition." This requirement, typically called "recoupment," requires the plaintiff to show that, looking from the beginning of the predation campaign, the predator can reasonably anticipate that the costs of predation will be more than offset by the present value of a future period of ...


Framing A Purpose For Corporate Law, William W. Bratton Jul 2014

Framing A Purpose For Corporate Law, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article seeks to frame a short statement of purpose for corporate law on which all reasonable observers can agree. The statement, in order to succeed at its intended purpose, must satisfy two strict conditions: first, it must have enough content to be meaningful; second, it must be completely uncontroversial, both descriptively and normatively. The exercise, thus described, involves avoiding the issues that occupy center stage in discussions about corporate law while at the same time highlighting the discussants’ generally held presuppositions. Three closely interconnected issues arise. First, whether the statement of the purpose of corporate law should speak in ...


Merger Policy And The 2010 Merger Guidelines, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2014

Merger Policy And The 2010 Merger Guidelines, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

New Horizontal Merger Guidelines were issued jointly by the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission in August, 2010, replacing Guidelines issued in 1992 that no longer reflected either the law or government enforcement policy. The new Guidelines are a striking improvement. They are less technocratic, accommodating a greater and more realistic variety of theories about why mergers of competitors can be anticompetitive and, accordingly, a greater variety of methodologies for assessing them.

The unifying theme of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines is to prevent the enhancement of market power that might result from mergers. The 2010 Guidelines state that “[a ...


Possible Paradigm Shifts In Broadband Policy, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Possible Paradigm Shifts In Broadband Policy, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Debates over Internet policy tend to be framed by the way the Internet existed in the mid-1990s, when the Internet first became a mass-market phenomenon. At the risk of oversimplifying, the Internet was initially used by academics and tech-savvy early adopters to send email and browse the web over a personal computer connected to a telephone line via networks interconnected through in a limited way. Since then, the Internet has become much larger and more diverse in terms of users, applications, technologies, and business relationships. More recently, Internet growth has begun to slow both in terms of the number of ...


Consumer Welfare In Competition And Intellectual Property Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2014

Consumer Welfare In Competition And Intellectual Property Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Whether antitrust policy should pursue a goal of "general welfare" or "consumer welfare" has been debated for decades. The academic debate is much more varied than the case law, however, which has consistently adopted consumer welfare as a goal, almost never condemning a practice found to produce an actual output reduction or price increase simply because productive efficiency gains accruing to producers exceeded consumer losses.

While some practices such as mergers might produce greater gains in productive efficiency than losses in consumer welfare, identifying such situations would be extraordinarily difficult. First, these efficiencies would have to be "transaction specific," meaning ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 9 (2d Ed): The Innovation Commons, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 9 (2d Ed): The Innovation Commons, 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 ...


Distributive Justice And Consumer Welfare In Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2013

Distributive Justice And Consumer Welfare In Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The dominant view of antitrust policy in the United States is that it is intended to promote some version of economic welfare. More specifically, antitrust promotes allocative efficiency by ensuring that markets are as competitive as they can practicably be, and that firms do not face unreasonable roadblocks to attaining productive efficiency, which refers to both cost minimization and innovation.

The distribution concern that has dominated debates over United States antitrust policy over the last several decades is whether antitrust should adopt a “consumer welfare” principle rather than a more general neoclassical “total welfare” principle. In The Antitrust Paradox Robert ...


Patent Value And Citations: Creative Destruction Or Strategic Disruption?, David S. Abrams, Ufuk Akcigit, Jillian Popadak Nov 2013

Patent Value And Citations: Creative Destruction Or Strategic Disruption?, David S. Abrams, Ufuk Akcigit, Jillian Popadak

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Prior work suggests that more valuable patents are cited more and this view has become standard in the empirical innovation literature. Using an NPE-derived dataset with patent-specific revenues we find that the relationship of citations to value in fact forms an inverted-U, with fewer citations at the high end of value than in the middle. Since the value of patents is concentrated in those at the high end, this is a challenge to both the empirical literature and the intuition behind it. We attempt to explain this relationship with a simple model of innovation, allowing for both productive and strategic ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Chapter 7 (2d Ed): Intellectual Property Misuse, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy, Chapter 7 (2d Ed): Intellectual Property Misuse, 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 ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 2 (2d Ed): Complementary Products And Processes - The Law Of Tying, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 2 (2d Ed): Complementary Products And Processes - The Law Of Tying, 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 ...


Innovation And Competition Policy: Cases And Materials (2nd Ed.): Chapter 1: Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy: Cases And Materials (2nd Ed.): Chapter 1: Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This casebook differs from other IP/antitrust casebooks in that it considers sources of competition policy other than 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, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The book is free for all to use and distribute, subject to restrictions contained in an open source license agreement printed in each chapter. Chapters will be updated frequently. The author uses ...


Is There A Role For Common Carriage In An Internet-Based World?, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

Is There A Role For Common Carriage In An Internet-Based World?, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

During the course of the network neutrality debate, advocates have proposed extending common carriage regulation to broadband Internet access services. Others have endorsed extending common carriage to a wide range of other Internet-based services, including search engines, cloud computing, Apple devices, online maps, and social networks. All too often, however, those who focus exclusively on the Internet era pay too little attention to the lessons of the legacy of regulated industries, which has long struggled to develop a coherent rationale for determining which industries should be subject to common carriage. Of the four rationales for determining the scope of common ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...