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Antitrust

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A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: Student Athlete Compensation And The Alston Antitrust Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2021

A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: Student Athlete Compensation And The Alston Antitrust Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The unanimous Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Alston is its most important probe of antitrust’s rule of reason in decades. The decision implicates several issues, including the role of antitrust in labor markets, how antitrust applies to institutions that have an educational mission as well as involvement in a large commercial enterprise, and how much leeway district courts should have in creating decrees that contemplate ongoing administration.

The Court accepted what has come to be the accepted framework: the plaintiff must make out a prima facie case of competitive harm. Then the burden shifts to the defendant to ...


The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s rule of reason was born out of a thirty-year (1897-1927) division among Supreme Court Justices about the proper way to assess multi-firm restraints on competition. By the late 1920s the basic contours of the rule for restraints among competitors was roughly established. Antitrust policy toward vertical restraints remained much more unstable, however, largely because their effects were so poorly understood.

This article provides a litigation field guide for antitrust claims under the rule of reason – or more precisely, for situations when application of the rule of reason is likely. At the time pleadings are drafted and even up ...


Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust litigation often confronts situations where effects point in both directions. Judges sometimes describe the process of evaluating these factors as “balancing.” In its e-Books decision the Second Circuit believed that the need to balance is what justifies application of the rule of reason. In Microsoft the D.C. Circuit stated that “courts routinely apply a…balancing approach” under which “the plaintiff must demonstrate that the anticompetitive harm…outweighs the procompetitive benefit.” But then it decided the case without balancing anything.

The term “balancing” is a very poor label for what courts actually do in these cases. Balancing requires that ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Patent Exclusions And Antitrust After Therasense, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2013

Patent Exclusions And Antitrust After Therasense, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A patent may be held invalid if it was obtained by “inequitable conduct” before the PTO during the process of patent prosecution. In its Therasense decision the Federal Circuit imposed severe requirements against those attempting to defend against a patent on the basis of inequitable conduct, insisting that inequitable conduct be measured essentially by a subjective test. Objective “reasonable person” tests such as negligence or even gross negligence will not suffice. By contrast, the Supreme Court has insisted that the conduct giving rise to a wrongful infringement action violating the antitrust laws be initially based on an objective test – whether ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 3 (2nd Ed.): Harm To Competition Or Innovation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 3 (2nd Ed.): Harm To Competition Or Innovation, 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 ...


Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2013

Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Ninth Circuit may soon consider whether challenges to antitrust activity that occurs abroad must invariably be addressed under the rule of reason, which will make criminal prosecution difficult or impossible.

When antitrust cases involve foreign conduct, the courts customarily appraise its substantive antitrust significance only after deciding whether the Sherman Act reaches the activity. Nevertheless, "jurisdictional" and "substantive" inquiries are not wholly independent. Both reflect two sound propositions: that Congress did not intend American antitrust law to rule the entire commercial world and that Congress knew that domestic economic circumstances often differ from those abroad where mechanical application of ...


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 ...


Antitrust's "Jurisdictional" Reach Abroad, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2011

Antitrust's "Jurisdictional" Reach Abroad, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Arbaugh decision the Supreme Court insisted that a federal statute’s limitation on reach be regarded as “jurisdictional” only if the legislature was clear that this is what it had in mind. The Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act (FTAIA) presents a puzzle in this regard, because Congress seems to have been quite clear about what it had in mind; it simply failed to use the correct set of buzzwords in the statute itself, and well before Arbaugh assessed this requirement.

Even if the FTAIA is to be regarded as non-jurisdictional, the constitutional extraterritorial reach of the Sherman Act ...


A Primer On Antitrust Damages, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2011

A Primer On Antitrust Damages, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper considers the theory of antitrust damages and then discusses some simple models for proving them. Antitrust damages theory begins with the premise that many practices alleged to violate the antitrust laws cause no consumer harm. Others are inefficient and have few socially redeeming virtues. Still others may simultaneously increase both the efficiency of the participants and their market power. A perfectly designed antitrust policy would exonerate the first set of practices, condemn the second set, and condemn the third set only when the social cost of the restraint exceeds its social value or they produce net harm to ...


Quantification Of Harm In Private Antitrust Actions In The United States, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2011

Quantification Of Harm In Private Antitrust Actions In The United States, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper discusses the theory and experience of United States courts concerning the quantification of harm in antitrust cases. This treatment pertains to both the social cost of antitrust violations, and to the private damage mechanisms that United States antitrust law has developed. It is submitted for the Roundtable on the Quantification of Harm to Competition by National Courts and Competition Agencies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Feb., 2011.

In a typical year more than 90% of antitrust complaints filed in the United States are by private plaintiffs rather than the federal government. Further, when the individual states ...


Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision overturned the longstanding rule of per se illegality for resale price maintenance and applied a rule of reason. One might think that the question whether a vertical “agreement” exists between a manufacturer and a dealer should not be affected by the mode of analysis to be applied after an agreement is found. First one asks whether an agreement exists, and determines whether the per se rule or rule of reason applies only after receiving an affirmative answer. Nevertheless, ever since Colgate the Supreme Court has generally taken a more restrictive approach on the agreement ...


Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision has now brought the rule of reason to all purely vertical intrabrand distribution restraints. But the rule of reason does not mean per se legality and occasions for anticompetitive vertically imposed restraints may still arise. Of all those that have been suggested the most plausible are vertical restraints imposed at the behest of a powerful dealer or group (cartel) of dealers.

Although a vertical distribution restraint resembles a dealer cartel in that both limit intraband competition, a manufacturer restraining the distribution of its product shuns the excess dealer profits a dealer cartel would seek ...


The Pleading Problem In Antitrust Cases And Beyond, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Pleading Problem In Antitrust Cases And Beyond, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Twombly decision the Supreme Court held that an antitrust complaint failed because its allegations did not include enough “factual matter” to justify proceeding to discovery. Two years later the Court extended this new pleading standard to federal complaints generally. Twombly’s broad language has led to a broad rewriting of federal pleading doctrine.

Naked market division conspiracies such as the one pled in Twombly must be kept secret because antitrust enforcers will prosecute them when they are detected. This inherent secrecy, which the Supreme Court did not discuss, has dire consequences for pleading if too much factual specificity ...


The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2008

The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust law's Walker Process doctrine permits a patent infringement defendant to show that an improperly maintained infringement action constitutes unlawful monopolization or an unlawful attempt to monopolize. The infringement defendant must show both that the lawsuit is improper, which establishes the conduct portion of the violation and generally satisfies tort law requirements, and also that the structural prerequisites for the monopolization offense are present. The doctrine also applies to non-patent infringement actions and has been applied by the Supreme Court to copyright infringement actions. Walker Process itself somewhat loosely derives from the Supreme Court's Noerr-Pennington line of cases ...


Ip And Antitrust Policy: A Brief Historical Overview, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2005

Ip And Antitrust Policy: A Brief Historical Overview, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The history of IP/antitrust litigation is filled with exaggerated notions of the power conferred by IP rights and imagined threats to competition. The result is that antitrust litigation involving IP practices has seen problems where none existed. To be sure, finding the right balance between maintaining competition and creating incentives to innovate is no easy task. However, the judge in an IP/antitrust case almost never needs to do the balancing, most of which is done in the language of the IP provisions. The role of antitrust tribunals is the much more limited one of ensuring that any alleged ...


Anticompetitive Settlement Of Intellectual Property Disputes, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Mark D. Janis, Mark A. Lemley Jan 2003

Anticompetitive Settlement Of Intellectual Property Disputes, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Mark D. Janis, Mark A. Lemley

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The overwhelming majority of intellectual property lawsuits settle before trial. These settlements involve agreements between the patentee and the accused infringer, parties who are often competitors before the lawsuit. Because these competitors may agree to stop competing, to regulate the price each charges, and to exchange information about products and prices, settlements of intellectual property disputes naturally raise antitrust concerns. In this paper, we suggest a way to reconcile the interests of intellectual property law and antitrust law in evaluating intellectual property settlements. In Part I, we provide background on the issue. Part II argues that in most cases courts ...