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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

2018

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …


Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

Antitrust in the United States today is caught between its pursuit of technical rules designed to define and implement defensible economic goals, and increasing calls for a new antitrust “movement.” The goals of this movement have been variously defined as combating industrial concentration, limiting the economic or political power of large firms, correcting the maldistribution of wealth, control of high profits, increasing wages, or protection of small business. High output and low consumer prices are typically unmentioned.

In the 1960s the great policy historian Richard Hofstadter lamented the passing of the antitrust “movement” as one of the “faded passions of …


Welcome And Introductory Remarks, Jonathan Baker Nov 2018

Welcome And Introductory Remarks, Jonathan Baker

Presentations

Video link: https://vimeo.com/352303633Audio link: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/audio/economics-big-data-privacy-competition-introductionThe Federal Trade Commission held the sixth session in its Hearings initiative, with two and a half days of sessions on November 6 – 8, 2018, at American University Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C.The hearings examined the role that data play in competition and innovation and will also consider the antitrust analysis of mergers and firm conduct where data is a key asset or product.The Commission invited public comment on these issues, including the questions listed below. Comments were due January 7, 2019. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary …


Trade And Development In An Era Of Multipolarity And Reterritorialization, Chantal Thomas Nov 2018

Trade And Development In An Era Of Multipolarity And Reterritorialization, Chantal Thomas

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This essay will consider two phenomena emergent within international trade law and policy: multipolarity (the emergence of new global powers alongside existing hegemons) and reterritorialization (the rise, sometimes in quite virulent form, of economic nationalism as a basis for asserting State controls over, and barriers to, cross-border trade). These new dynamics present serious challenges and dangers. This essay will consider whether they might also create opportunities for reshaping the international economic order to be more supportive of the longstanding concerns of developing States. In doing so, the essay will elucidate key aspects of both the global political economy and the …


Revising The Vertical Merger Guidelines (Ftc Hearings), Steven C. Salop Nov 2018

Revising The Vertical Merger Guidelines (Ftc Hearings), Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This slide deck was the author’s presentation at the FTC Hearings on Vertical Mergers (November 1, 2018). The deck sets out a summary of the author’s economic analysis and proposed revisions to the U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines.


Calm Down About Common Ownership, Thom Lambert, Michael E. Sykuta Oct 2018

Calm Down About Common Ownership, Thom Lambert, Michael E. Sykuta

Faculty Publications

Proponents of additional antitrust intervention to police common ownership simply have not made their case. Their theory as to why current levels of intra-industry diversification would cause consumer harm is implausible and the empirical evidence they say demonstrates such harm is both scant and methodologically suspect. The policy solutions they have proposed for dealing with the purported problem would radically rework an industry that has provided substantial benefits to investors, raising the costs of portfolio diversification and enhancing agency costs at public companies. Courts and antitrust enforcers should reject their calls for additional antitrust intervention to police common ownership.


The At&T/Time Warner Merger: How Judge Leon Garbled Professor Nash, Steven C. Salop Oct 2018

The At&T/Time Warner Merger: How Judge Leon Garbled Professor Nash, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The US District Court in the AT&T/Time Warner vertical merger case has issued its opinion permitting the merger. At of this writing in August 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has appealed to the DC Circuit and filed its brief, as have several Amici. I was disappointed that the DOJ was unable to prove its case to the satisfaction of Judge Leon, the trial judge. Notwithstanding the court’s confidence that the merger is procompetitive, I remain concerned that it will have anti- competitive effects, both on its own and following the subsequent vertical mergers in the TV industry, which this …


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 …


Has The Us Economy Become More Concentrated And Less Competitive: A Review Of The Data, Jonathan Baker, Steven Berry, Fiona Scott Morton, Joshua Wright, Gregory Werden Sep 2018

Has The Us Economy Become More Concentrated And Less Competitive: A Review Of The Data, Jonathan Baker, Steven Berry, Fiona Scott Morton, Joshua Wright, Gregory Werden

Congressional and Other Testimony

FTC Chairman Joe Simons presented opening remarks, followed by a day of discussion by a distinguished set of panelists who discussed the following topics (some of which will be discussed on the rescheduled date):the current landscape of competition and consumer protection law and policy;whether the U.S. economy has become more concentrated and less competitive;the regulation of consumer data;antitrust law and the consumer welfare standard; andthe analysis of vertical mergers.This hearing was initially scheduled for September 13-14, 2018, but the second day sessions were rescheduled to November 1 due to inclement weather.


Outcome Report Of Roundtable On International Investment Regime And Access To Justice, Michelle Chan, Kanika Gupta, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson Sep 2018

Outcome Report Of Roundtable On International Investment Regime And Access To Justice, Michelle Chan, Kanika Gupta, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On October 18, 2017, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and the CCSI co-hosted a one-day roundtable on the impacts of the international investment regime on access to justice for investment-affected individuals and communities.

Held at Columbia University in New York, the roundtable brought together 32 individuals from civil society organizations, communities affected by investments at the heart of investor-state claims, governments, academia, donor organizations, UN mandate holders, and other stakeholder groups. The roundtable provided an opportunity for participants to: (i) explore and assess the specific impacts of international investment agreements and investor-state dispute settlement on access …


Taking Antitrust Away From The Courts, Ganesh Sitaraman Sep 2018

Taking Antitrust Away From The Courts, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A small number of firms hold significant market power in a wide variety of sectors of the economy, leading commentators across the political spectrum to call for a reinvigoration of antitrust enforcement. But the antitrust agencies have been surprisingly timid in response to this challenge, and when they have tried to assert themselves, they have often found that hostile courts block their ability to foster competitive markets. In other areas of law, Congress delegates power to agencies, agencies make regulations setting standards, and courts provide deferential review after the fact. Antitrust doesn’t work this way. Courts – made up of …


Advertising Is Obsolete -- Here's Why It's Time To End It, Ramsi Woodcock Aug 2018

Advertising Is Obsolete -- Here's Why It's Time To End It, Ramsi Woodcock

Law Faculty Popular Media

Since it first became clear that Russian agents spent thousands of dollars a month on political advertising on social media in the runup to the 2016 presidential election, Americans have been asking how the powerful advertising infrastructure run by Google and Facebook could have been thrown open to foreign agents.

But fewer have stopped to ask whether there is a good reason for this infrastructure to exist at all. Why, exactly, is it a good thing for Facebook and Google to be selling advertising to anyone, let alone Russian agents?

The obvious answer seems to be so that legitimate advertisers, …


Serial Collusion By Multi-Product Firms, Michael J. Meurer, William Kovacic, Robert Marshall Aug 2018

Serial Collusion By Multi-Product Firms, Michael J. Meurer, William Kovacic, Robert Marshall

Faculty Scholarship

We provide empirical evidence that many multi-product firms have each participated in several cartels over the past 50 years. Standard analysis of cartel conduct, as well as enforcement policy, is rooted in the presumption that each cartel in which a given firm participates is a singular activity, independent of other cartel conduct by the firm. We argue that this analysis is deficient in many respects in the face of serial collusion by multi-product firms. We offer policy recommendations to reign in serial collusion, including a mandatory coordinated effects review for any merger involving a serial colluder, regardless of the apparent …


The Policy Challenge Of Artificial Intelligence, James Bessen Jul 2018

The Policy Challenge Of Artificial Intelligence, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

New "artificial intelligence" (AI) technology promises to bring dramatic social and economic changes, demanding major policy changes. In intellectual property and antitrust law, AI will exacerbate a damaging trend: across all major sectors of the economy, proprietary information technology is increasing the market dominance of large firms. This trend might not seem like bad news, but it is evidence of a slowdown in the spread of technical knowledge throughout the economy. The result is rising industry concentration, slower productivity growth and growing wage inequality. The key challenge to IP and antitrust policy will be counter this trend yet maintain innovation …


Ohio V. Amex, Supply Chain Fairness, And The Inadequacy Of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Standard, Ramsi Woodcock Jul 2018

Ohio V. Amex, Supply Chain Fairness, And The Inadequacy Of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Standard, Ramsi Woodcock

Law Faculty Popular Media

he Supreme Court’s decision in Ohio v. American Express last week demonstrates the inadequacy of antitrust’s consumer welfare standard, which limits enforcers to challenging only anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. Under that standard, the Court could not condemn Amex’s blatantly anticompetitive limits on the ability of merchants to encourage consumers to use less expensive credit cards because the limits sapped the bargaining power of one level of the supply chain (merchants) in their negotiations with another (a credit card company), but did not obviously harm consumers. What antitrust needs is a standard that protects the bargaining power of Americans from …


Non-Parties: The Negative Externalities Of Regional Trade Agreements In A Private Law Perspective, Daniela Caruso Jul 2018

Non-Parties: The Negative Externalities Of Regional Trade Agreements In A Private Law Perspective, Daniela Caruso

Faculty Scholarship

In private law theory and in international trade law alike, a new strand of scholarship has emerged in recent years. This strand is characterized by a focus on market actors who are excluded from deals struck by other parties and suffer economic hardship as a result. Scholars have also focused on doctrines and legal concepts apt to identify this type of hardship and to provide non-parties with justiciable claims and remedies. Private-law and trade-law scholars involved in this mode of research are often moved by justice concerns and by the realization that rules based solely on the enforcement of bilateral …


The Obsolescence Of Advertising In The Information Age, Ramsi Woodcock Jun 2018

The Obsolescence Of Advertising In The Information Age, Ramsi Woodcock

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The vast amount of product information available to consumers through online search renders most advertising obsolete as a tool for conveying product information. Advertising remains useful to firms only as a tool for persuading consumers to purchase advertised products. In the mid-twentieth century, courts applying the antitrust laws held that such persuasive advertising is anticompetitive and harmful to consumers, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was unable to pursue an antitrust campaign against persuasive advertising for fear of depriving consumers of advertising’s information value. Now that the information function of most advertising is obsolete, the FTC should renew its campaign …


Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2018

Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

The marginalist revolution in economics became the foundation for the modern regulatory State with its “mixed” economy. Marginalism, whose development defines the boundary between classical political economy and neoclassical economics, completely overturned economists’ theory of value. It developed in the late nineteenth century in England, the Continent and the United States. For the classical political economists, value was a function of past averages. One good example is the wage-fund theory, which saw the optimal rate of wages as a function of the firm’s ability to save from previous profits. Another is the theory of corporate finance, which assessed a corporation’s …


The Antitrust Duty To Charge Low Prices, Ramsi Woodcock May 2018

The Antitrust Duty To Charge Low Prices, Ramsi Woodcock

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Over the past forty years, antitrust has come to embrace a goal of consumer welfare maximization that cannot be achieved solely through condemnation of collusive or exclusionary conduct. To address cases in which firms achieve the power to raise prices and harm consumers without engaging in collusive or exclusionary conduct, antitrust should impose a general duty on businesses to charge a price no higher than economic cost. Courts would not need to set prices to enforce this duty, because violations would be punishable only by nominal damages, and shame, rather than by an injunction setting a reasonable price. Although the …


Law School News: 'Marketplace Of Ideas' Imperiled (04-05-2018), David A. Logan Apr 2018

Law School News: 'Marketplace Of Ideas' Imperiled (04-05-2018), David A. Logan

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2018

Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo

All Faculty Scholarship

Although the debate over hipster antitrust is often portrayed as something new, experienced observers recognize it as a replay of an old argument that was resolved by the global consensus that antitrust should focus on consumer welfare rather than on the size of firms, the levels of industry concentration, and other considerations. Moreover, the history of the Federal Trade Commission’s Section 5 authority to prevent unfair methods of competition stands as a reminder of the dangers of allowing enforcement policy to be guided by vague and uncertain standards.


Clarifications And Gratitude, Chris Sagers Apr 2018

Clarifications And Gratitude, Chris Sagers

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

Certain things in this book plainly require clarification to avoid misunderstanding. In fact, I think this little discussion was among three people who mostly agree with each other, except that the reviewers may not have known it because I failed to explain myself well enough. Because I didn't, they mostly didn't discuss what I always intended to be the book's real contribution and its most interesting material.

I start out in Part I by trying to restate what I see as the problem that is the book's only immediate concern. That restatement is a first draft for how I will …


Antitrust As Corporate Governance: Why A Firm's Mission Is To Earn No Profit, Ramsi Woodcock Mar 2018

Antitrust As Corporate Governance: Why A Firm's Mission Is To Earn No Profit, Ramsi Woodcock

Law Faculty Popular Media

The consumer welfare standard in antitrust law requires that firms maximize the margin between price and product quality, a quantity called consumer welfare by economists. This standard, adopted in the 1970s, resolves the long-running debate about which corporate constituency has a right to the profits of the firm, because profits and consumer welfare are a zero-sum game: Profits can be generated only by reducing the margin between price and quality, in effect redistributing wealth from consumers to firms. The rule that consumer welfare must be maximized therefore means that profits must be minimized. The consumer welfare standard requires that firms …


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

Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

For the first time in a generation, political pressure is growing to reform antitrust in a considerably more interventionist direction. To the bafflement of many observers, these political pressures are emerging simultaneously from both wings of the political spectrum. Although unconventional in presentist right/left terms, antitrust's ideological ambiguity has longstanding historical roots. This Essay examines three historical friction points that help explain the current political dislocations around antitrust reform: (1) the coupling of ideological aversion to large scale in government and business; (2) the shifting meaning of the word "monopoly," from exclusive governmentally granted privilege to privately obtained market power; …


The Merger Incipiency Doctrine And The Importance Of "Redundant" Competitors, Peter C. Carstensen, Robert H. Lande Jan 2018

The Merger Incipiency Doctrine And The Importance Of "Redundant" Competitors, Peter C. Carstensen, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

The enforcers and the courts have not implemented the merger incipiency doctrine in the vigorous manner Congress intended. We believe one important reason for this failure is that, until now, the logic underlying this doctrine has never been explained. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that markets’ need for “protective redundancy” explains the incipiency policy. We are writing this article in the hope that this will cause the enforcers and courts to implement significantly more stringent merger enforcement.

To vastly oversimplify, the current enforcement approach assumes that if N significant competitors are necessary for competition, N-1 competitors could …


The Lottery Docket, Daniel Epps, William Ortman Jan 2018

The Lottery Docket, Daniel Epps, William Ortman

Law Faculty Research Publications

No abstract provided.


Consolidation And Innovation In The Pharmaceutical Industry: The Role Of Mergers And Acquisitions In The Current Innovation Ecosystem, Joanna Shepherd Jan 2018

Consolidation And Innovation In The Pharmaceutical Industry: The Role Of Mergers And Acquisitions In The Current Innovation Ecosystem, Joanna Shepherd

Faculty Articles

Recent changes in the pharmaceutical industry have spurred an unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions. Some researchers and agencies have questioned whether pharmaceutical consolidation could impede drug innovation. However, as I explain in this Article, these concerns are largely based on an outdated understanding of the drug innovation ecosystem. Whereas a few decades ago almost all drug discovery took place inside traditional pharmaceutical companies, today most drug innovation is externally-sourced from biotech companies and smaller firms. Internal R&D is no longer the primary source, or even an important source, of drug innovation. As a result, analyses that focus on the …


Unlocking Antitrust Enforcement, Jonathan Baker Jan 2018

Unlocking Antitrust Enforcement, Jonathan Baker

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

No abstract provided.


Reflections On Matsushita And Equilibrating Tendencies: Lessons For Competition Authorities, Stephen Calkins Jan 2018

Reflections On Matsushita And Equilibrating Tendencies: Lessons For Competition Authorities, Stephen Calkins

Law Faculty Research Publications

No abstract provided.


Biologics As The New Antitrust Frontier: Reflections, Riposte, And Recommendations, 2018 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 209 (2018), Daryl Lim Jan 2018

Biologics As The New Antitrust Frontier: Reflections, Riposte, And Recommendations, 2018 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 209 (2018), Daryl Lim

UIC Law Open Access Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.