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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation

Antitrust and Trade Regulation

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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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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

Regulation And The Marginalist Revolution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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 ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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: 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 ...


Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2012

Antitrust And The 'Filed Rate' Doctrine: Deregulation And State Action, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Keogh decision the Supreme Court held that although the Interstate Commerce Act did not exempt railroads from antitrust liability, a private plaintiff may not recover treble damages based on an allegedly monopolistic tariff rate filed with a federal agency. Keogh very likely grew out of Justice Brandeis's own zeal for regulation and his concern for the protection of small business — in this case, mainly shippers whom he felt were protected from discrimination by filed rates. The Supreme Court's Square D decision later conceded that Keogh may have been “unwise as a matter of policy,” but reaffirmed ...


Antitrust’S State Action Doctrine And The Ordinary Powers Of Corporations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Antitrust’S State Action Doctrine And The Ordinary Powers Of Corporations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court has now agreed to review the Eleventh Circuit's decision in Phoebe-Putney, which held that a state statute permitting a hospital authority to acquire hospitals implicitly authorized such acquisitions when they were anticompetitive – in this particular case very likely facilitating a merger to monopoly. Under antitrust law’s “state action” doctrine a state may in fact authorize such an acquisition, provided that it “clearly articulates” its desire to approve an action that would otherwise constitute an antitrust violation and also “actively supervises” any private conduct that might fall under the state’s regulatory scheme.

“Authorization” in the ...


Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust and intellectual property law both seek to improve economic welfare by facilitating competition and investment in innovation. At various times both antitrust and IP law have wandered off this course and have become more driven by special interests. Today, antitrust and IP are on very different roads to reform. Antitrust reform began in the late 1970s with a series of Supreme Court decisions that linked the plaintiff’s harm and right to obtain a remedy to the competition - furthering goals of antitrust policy. Today, patent law has begun its own reform journey, but it is in a much earlier ...


Patents, Property, And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

Patents, Property, And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The decision to regulate involves the identification of markets where simple assignment of property rights is not sufficient to ensure satisfactory competitive results, usually because some type of market failure obtains. By contrast, if property rights are well defined when they are initially created and can subsequently be traded to some reasonably competitive equilibrium, then regulation is thought not to be necessary. In such cases the antitrust laws have a significant role to play in ensuring that the market can be as competitive as free trading allows. One problem with the patent system is that once a patent is granted ...


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 ...


Federalism And Antitrust Reform, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2005

Federalism And Antitrust Reform, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Currently the Antitrust Modernization Commission is considering numerous proposals for adjusting the relationship between federal antitrust authority and state regulation. This essay examines two areas that have produced a significant amount of state-federal conflict: state regulation of insurance and the state action immunity for general state regulation. It argues that no principle of efficiency, regulatory theory, or federalism justifies the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which creates an antitrust immunity for state regulation of insurance. What few benefits the Act confers could be fully realized by an appropriate interpretation of the state action doctrine. Second, the current formulation of the antitrust state action ...