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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation

Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

2006

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Standards Ownership And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2006

Standards Ownership And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust law is a blunt instrument for dealing with many claims of anticompetitive standard setting. Antitrust fact finders lack the sophistication to pass judgment on the substantive merits of a standard. In any event, antitrust is not a roving mandate to question bad standards. It requires an injury to competition, and whether the minimum conditions for competitive harm are present can often be determined without examining the substance of the standard itself.

When government involvement in standard setting is substantial antitrust challenges should generally be rejected. The petitioning process in a democratic system protects even bad legislative judgments from collateral ...