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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Antitrust Regulation Of Copyright Markets, Jacob Noti-Victor, Xiyin Tang Jan 2024

Antitrust Regulation Of Copyright Markets, Jacob Noti-Victor, Xiyin Tang

Faculty Articles

Late last year, a federal court sided with the Department of Justice and blocked the planned merger of book publishers Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House. The decision was a rare collision between antitrust law and the deeply consolidated copyright content industries. Over the course of the past decade, acquisitions and mergers in the recording, music publishing, and audiovisual space have left just a handful of juggernaut content producers in their wake. Moreover, new technology companies that have entered the content-creation and distribution markets have begun to leverage their scale to further their own industry consolidation.

This Article examines …


Aclp - Comments To The Fcc Re Net Neutrality - December 2023, New York Law School Dec 2023

Aclp - Comments To The Fcc Re Net Neutrality - December 2023, New York Law School

Reports and Resources

No abstract provided.


Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman Oct 2022

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman

Faculty Scholarship

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are simply enterprises that raise money from the public with the intention of purchasing an existing business and becoming publicly traded in the securities markets. If the SPAC is successful in raising money and the acquisition takes place, the target company takes the SPAC’s place on a stock exchange in a transaction that resembles a public offering. Also known as “blank-check” or “reverse merger” companies, this process avoids many of the pitfalls of a traditional initial public offering.

During late 2020 and 2021 an unprecedented surge in the popularity and issuance of Special Purpose Acquisition …


Anticompetitive Merger Review, Samuel N. Weinstein Jul 2022

Anticompetitive Merger Review, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Articles

U.S. antitrust law empowers enforcers to review pending mergers that might undermine competition. But there is growing evidence that the merger-review regime is failing to perform its core procompetitive function. Industry concentration and the power of dominant firms are increasing across key sectors of the economy. In response, progressive advocates of more aggressive antitrust interventions have critiqued the substantive merger-review standard, arguing that it is too friendly to merging firms. This Article traces the problem to a different source: the merger-review process itself. The growing length of reviews, the competitive restrictions merger agreements place on acquisition targets during review, and …


Facebook, Welfare, And Natural Monopoly: A Quantitative Analysis Of Antitrust Remedies, Felix B. Chang, Seth Benzell Jan 2022

Facebook, Welfare, And Natural Monopoly: A Quantitative Analysis Of Antitrust Remedies, Felix B. Chang, Seth Benzell

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Article advances a novel theoretical model for assessing policy interventions against Facebook. As prosecutors barrel forward against digital platforms, soon it will fall upon courts and, eventually, regulators to devise remedies. We argue that any sensible solution must include quantification of the welfare effects on the platform’s various constituents. Our model prioritizes the effects upon total societal welfare—or, in economists’ terms, social welfare. Applied to Facebook, the model calculates social welfare as the sum of four components: (i) consumer welfare; (ii) advertising profits; (iii) tax revenues; and (iv) the value of a large user base.

Drawing on surveys of …


Addictive Technology And Its Implications For Antitrust Enforcement, James Niels Rosenquist, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Samuel N. Weinstein Jan 2022

Addictive Technology And Its Implications For Antitrust Enforcement, James Niels Rosenquist, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Articles

The advent of mobile devices and digital media platforms in the past decade represents the biggest shock to cognition in human history. Robust medical evidence is emerging that digital media platforms are addictive and, when used in excess, harmful to users’ mental health. Other types of addictive products, like tobacco and prescription drugs, are heavily regulated to protect consumers. Currently, there is no regulatory structure protecting digital media users from these harms. Antitrust enforcement and regulation that lowers entry barriers could help consumers of social media by increasing competition. Economic theory tells us that more choice in digital media will …


Regulating New Tech: Problems, Pathways, And People, Cary Coglianese Dec 2021

Regulating New Tech: Problems, Pathways, And People, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

New technologies bring with them many promises, but also a series of new problems. Even though these problems are new, they are not unlike the types of problems that regulators have long addressed in other contexts. The lessons from regulation in the past can thus guide regulatory efforts today. Regulators must focus on understanding the problems they seek to address and the causal pathways that lead to these problems. Then they must undertake efforts to shape the behavior of those in industry so that private sector managers focus on their technologies’ problems and take actions to interrupt the causal pathways. …


Blockchain Neutrality, Samuel N. Weinstein Jan 2021

Blockchain Neutrality, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Articles

Blockchain technology is transforming how markets work. Blockchains eliminate the need for trusted gatekeepers like banks to execute, verify, and record transactions. In the financial markets, their disruptive potential threatens both Wall Street banks and Silicon Valley venture capitalists. How blockchain technology is regulated will determine whether it encourages or inhibits competition. Some blockchain applications present serious fraud and systemic risks, complicating regulation. This Article explores the antitrust and competition policy challenges blockchain presents and proposes a regulatory strategy, modeled on Internet regulation and net neutrality principles, to unlock blockchain’s competitive potential. It contends that financial regulators should promote blockchain …


Regulation And The Geography Of Inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman, Christopher Serkin, Morgan Ricks Jan 2021

Regulation And The Geography Of Inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman, Christopher Serkin, Morgan Ricks

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We live in an era of widening geographic inequality. Around the country, the spread between economically and culturally thriving places and those that are struggling has been increasing. "Superstar" cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta continue to attract talent and grow, while the economies of other cities and rural areas are left behind. Troublingly, escalating geographic inequality in the United States has arrived hand in hand with serious economic, social, and political problems. Areas that are left behind have not only failed to keep up with their thriving peers; in many ways, they have stagnated and seen …


Mining The Harvard Caselaw Access Project, Felix B. Chang, Erin Mccabe, James Lee Jan 2020

Mining The Harvard Caselaw Access Project, Felix B. Chang, Erin Mccabe, James Lee

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Essay illustrates how machine learning can disrupt legal scholarship through the algorithmic extraction and analysis of big data. Specifically, we utilize data from Harvard Law School’s Caselaw Access Project to model how courts tackle two thorny question in antitrust: the measure of market power and the balance between antitrust and regulation.


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 …


Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn Apr 2019

Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn

All Faculty Scholarship

Public choice theory has long been the dominant lens through which economists and other scholars have viewed occupational licensing. According to the public choice account, practitioners favor licensing because they want to reduce competition and drive up their own wages. This essay argues that the public choice account has been overstated, and that it ironically has served to distract from some of the most important harms of licensing, as well as from potential solutions. We emphasize three specific drawbacks of this account. First, it is more dismissive of legitimate threats to public health and safety than the research warrants. Second, …


Coty, Amazon, And The Future Of Vertical Restraints: Evolving Distribution Norms On Both Atlantic Shores, Chris Sagers Apr 2019

Coty, Amazon, And The Future Of Vertical Restraints: Evolving Distribution Norms On Both Atlantic Shores, Chris Sagers

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

No abstract provided.


Financial Regulation In The (Receding) Shadow Of Antitrust, Samuel N. Weinstein Apr 2019

Financial Regulation In The (Receding) Shadow Of Antitrust, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Articles

Mounting evidence that a number of key industries in the U.S. economy have become less competitive in recent years is prompting a renewed national conversation about an enhanced role for antitrust enforcement. But there are limits on the anticompetitive conduct antitrust enforcers and private plaintiffs can reach, especially in regulated markets. This is due in part to the doctrine of implied antitrust immunity: when a court perceives a conflict between the antitrust laws (e.g., the Sherman Act) and a regulatory regime (e.g., the securities laws), it may find immunity for conduct that otherwise would violate the antitrust laws. Two Supreme …


Copyright Arbitrage, Kristelia A. García Jan 2019

Copyright Arbitrage, Kristelia A. García

Publications

Regulatory arbitrage—defined as the manipulation of regulatory treatment for the purpose of reducing regulatory costs or increasing statutory earnings—is often seen in heavily regulated industries. An increase in the regulatory nature of copyright, coupled with rapid technological advances and evolving consumer preferences, have led to an unprecedented proliferation of regulatory arbitrage in the area of copyright law. This Article offers a new scholarly account of the phenomenon herein referred to as “copyright arbitrage.”

In some cases, copyright arbitrage may work to expose and/or correct for an extant gap or inefficiency in the regulatory regime. In other cases, copyright arbitrage may …


Parker V. Brown, The Eleventh Amendment, And Anticompetitive State Regulation, William H. Page, John E. Lopatka Jan 2019

Parker V. Brown, The Eleventh Amendment, And Anticompetitive State Regulation, William H. Page, John E. Lopatka

UF Law Faculty Publications

The Parker v. Brown (or “state action”) doctrine and the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution impose differen limits on antitrust suits challenging anticompetitive state regulation. The Supreme Court has developed these two versions of state sovereign immunity separately, and lower courts usually apply the immunities independently of each another (even in the same cases) without explaining their relationship. Nevertheless, the Court has derived the two immunities from the same principle of sovereign immunity, so it is worth considering why and how they differ, and what the consequences of the differences are for antitrust policy. The state action immunity is based …


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 …


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 …


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

Several American political candidates and administrations have both run and served under the “progressive” banner for more than a century, right through the 2016 election season. For the most part these have pursued interventionist antitrust policies, reflecting a belief that markets are fragile and in need of repair, that certain interest groups require greater protection, or in some cases that antitrust policy is an extended arm of regulation. This paper argues that most of this progressive antitrust policy was misconceived, including that reflected in the 2016 antitrust plank of the Democratic Party. The progressive state is best served by a …


How Much Of Health Care Antitrust Is Really Antitrust?, Spencer Weber Waller Jan 2017

How Much Of Health Care Antitrust Is Really Antitrust?, Spencer Weber Waller

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Constraining Monitors, Veronica Root Jan 2017

Constraining Monitors, Veronica Root

Journal Articles

Monitors oversee remediation efforts at dozens, if not hundreds, of institutions that are guilty of misconduct. The remediation efforts that the monitors of today engage in are, in many instances, quite similar to activities that were once subject to formal court oversight. But as the importance and power of monitors has increased, the court’s oversight of monitors and the agreements that most often result in monitorships has, at best, been severely diminished and, at worst, vanished altogether.

The lack of regulation governing monitors is well documented; yet, the academic literature on monitorships to date has largely taken the state of …


Reregulation And The Regulatory Timeline, Peter Molk, Arden Rowell Jan 2016

Reregulation And The Regulatory Timeline, Peter Molk, Arden Rowell

UF Law Faculty Publications

Regulation is often casually conceived of as functioning like a binary on/off switch: as if an area, issue, or industry is either regulated or not. While this binary model of regulation can be useful, it also decontextualizes regulatory decisions from their position in time, and thus obscures important ways in which regulators are constrained and incentivized by past and future decisions. As an alternative, we present a timeline approach to regulation. The timeline approach is particularly helpful in illustrating the ways that earlier regulatory decisions create vestigial effects for later related decisions, and for highlighting the informational advantage that later …


The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Apr 2015

The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

All Faculty Scholarship

In FTC v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court considered "reverse payment" settlements of patent infringement litigation. In such a settlement, a patentee pays the alleged infringer to settle, and the alleged infringer agrees not to enter the market for a period of time. The Court held that a reverse payment settlement violates antitrust law if the patentee is paying to avoid competition. The core insight of Actavis is the Actavis Inference: a large and otherwise unexplained payment, combined with delayed entry, supports a reasonable inference of harm to consumers from lessened competition.

This paper is an effort to assist courts …


Financial Market Bottlenecks And The 'Openness' Mandate, Felix B. Chang Jan 2015

Financial Market Bottlenecks And The 'Openness' Mandate, Felix B. Chang

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Financial market infrastructures (“FMIs”), which facilitate the execution of financial transactions, exhibit such strong economies of scale that they are natural monopolies. In each market, production is controlled by a few dominant players. Federal courts have traditionally checked the abuses of natural monopolies under the Sherman Act. Yet recent Supreme Court decisions have reined in the role of antitrust in regulated industries, where administrative bodies set and enforce standards. To this effect, financial regulations require certain FMIs to grant open, nondiscriminatory access to users.

This Article argues that weak “openness” regulations must be buttressed by their antitrust counterpart — specifically, …


Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2014

Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

All Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. In our previous article, Activating Actavis, we identified and operationalized the essential features of the Court’s analysis. Our analysis has been challenged by four economists, who argue that our approach might condemn procompetitive settlements.

As we explain in this reply, such settlements are feasible, however, only under special circumstances. Moreover, even where feasible, the parties would not actually choose such a settlement in equilibrium. These considerations, and others discussed in the reply, serve to …


Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo

All Faculty Scholarship

Legal issues increasingly arise in increasingly complex technological contexts. Prominent recent examples include the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), network neutrality, the increasing availability of location information, and the NSA’s surveillance program. Other emerging issues include data privacy, online video distribution, patent policy, and spectrum policy. In short, the rapid rate of technological change has increasingly shown that law and engineering can no longer remain compartmentalized into separate spheres. The logical response would be to embed the interaction between law and policy deeper into the fabric of both fields. An essential step would …


Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2013

Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

All Faculty Scholarship

In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. The Court came down strongly in favor of an antitrust solution to the problem, concluding that “an antitrust action is likely to prove more feasible administratively than the Eleventh Circuit believed.” At the same time, Justice Breyer’s majority opinion acknowledged that the Court did not answer every relevant question. The opinion closed by “leav[ing] to the lower courts the structuring of the present rule-of-reason antitrust litigation.”

This article is an effort to help courts and …


Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Competition Policy And The Scope Of Intellectual Property Protection, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

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). Chapters …


Toward An Empirical And Theoretical Assessment Of Private Antitrust Enforcement, Joshua P. Davis, Robert H. Lande Apr 2013

Toward An Empirical And Theoretical Assessment Of Private Antitrust Enforcement, Joshua P. Davis, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

The dominant view in the antitrust field is that private enforcement cases, and especially class actions, accomplish little or nothing positive but, on the contrary, are counterproductive. Despite strongly worded convictions, that view has been premised on anecdotal, self-serving and insufficiently substantiated claims. Indeed, the authors' 2008 study of 40 private cases appears to constitute the only systematic effort to gather information about a significant number of private antitrust actions. That study generated a great deal of controversy, including questioning of our conclusions by high officials at the Department of Justice and by Professor Daniel Crane at the University of …


The Extraordinary Deterrence Of Private Antitrust Enforcement: A Reply To Werden, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis Jan 2013

The Extraordinary Deterrence Of Private Antitrust Enforcement: A Reply To Werden, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis

All Faculty Scholarship

Our article, "Comparative Deterrence from Private Enforcement and Criminal Enforcement of the U.S. Antitrust Laws," 2011 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 315, documented an extraordinary but usually overlooked fact: private antitrust enforcement deters a significant amount of anticompetitive conduct. Indeed, the article showed that private enforcement "probably" deters even more anticompetitive conduct than the almost universally admired anti-cartel enforcement program of the United States Department of Justice.

In a recent issue of Antitrust Bulletin, Gregory J. Werden, Scott D. Hammond, and Belinda A. Barnett challenged our analysis. They asserted that our comparison “is more misleading than informative.” It is unsurprising that they …