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Antitrust

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Supreme Court of the United States

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A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: The Supreme Court And Antitrust Limits On Student Athlete Compensation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2022

A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: The Supreme Court And Antitrust Limits On Student Athlete Compensation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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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 produce …


Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Prophylactic Merger Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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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 …


Post-Sale And Related Distribution Restraints Involving Ip Rights, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2013

Post-Sale And Related Distribution Restraints Involving Ip Rights, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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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 …


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

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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 context of …


Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2012

Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Patents create strong incentives for collaborative development. For many technologies fixed costs are extremely high in relation to variable costs. A second feature of technology that encourages collaborative development is the need for interoperability or common standards. Third, in contrast to traditional commons, intellectual property commons are almost always nonrivalrous on the supply side. If ten producers all own the rights to make a product covered by a patent, each one can make as many units as it pleases without limiting the number that others can make. That might seem to be a good thing, but considered ex ante it …


Markets In Merger Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2012

Markets In Merger Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust merger policy suffers from a disconnect between its articulated concerns and the methodologies it employs. The Supreme Court has largely abandoned the field of horizontal merger analysis, leaving us with ancient decisions that have never been overruled but whose fundamental approach has been ignored or discredited. As a result the case law reflects the structuralism of a bygone era, focusing on industrial concentration and market shares, largely to the exclusion of other measures of competitive harm, including price increases. Only within the last generation has econometrics developed useful techniques for estimating the price impact of specific mergers in differentiated …


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

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

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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 is …


The Firm As Cartel Manager, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Christopher R. Leslie Jan 2011

The Firm As Cartel Manager, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Christopher R. Leslie

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Antitrust law is the primary legal obstacle to price fixing, which is condemned by Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Firms that engage in price fixing may try to reduce their probability of antitrust liability in a number of ways. First, members of a price-fixing conspiracy go to great lengths to conceal their illegal activities from antitrust enforcers. Second, because Section 1 condemns only concerted action, firms may structure their relationship to appear to be the action of a single entity that is beyond the reach of Section One.

In its American Needle decision the Supreme Court held that the …


Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted Or Patented Products And The First Sale Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted Or Patented Products And The First Sale Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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The rule of reason adopted for resale price maintenance in the Supreme Court’s Leegin decision, which upset the century old Dr. Miles rule of per se illegality, requires some reconsideration of a number of issues about antitrust treatment of RPM. Under the old per se rule, bona fide “consignment” agreements were not covered by Section 1 of the Sherman Act at all because there was said to be no qualifying “agreement” between the supplier and the dealer. Rather the dealer was simply said to be acting as an agent of the seller. However, insofar as RPM produces competitive dangers, such …


American Needle And The Boundaries Of The Firm In Antitrust Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Aug 2010

American Needle And The Boundaries Of The Firm In Antitrust Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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In American Needle the Supreme Court unanimously held that for the practice at issue the NFL should be treated as a “combination” of its teams rather than a single entity. However, the arrangement must be assessed under the rule of reason. The opinion, written by Justice Stevens, was almost certainly his last opinion for the Court in an antitrust case; Justice Stevens had been a dissenter in the Supreme Court’s Copperweld decision 25 years earlier, which held that a parent corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary constituted a single “firm” for antitrust purposes. The Sherman Act speaks to this issue …


American Needle: The Sherman Act, Conspiracy, And Exclusion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2010

American Needle: The Sherman Act, Conspiracy, And Exclusion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay, part of a colloquium in the CPI Antitrust Journal, explores the meaning and significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in American Needle v. NFL. The Supreme Court held that for purposes of the dispute at hand the NFL should be treated as a collaboration of its member teams rather than a single entity. The factors that the Supreme Court considered most important were, first, that the NFL’s member teams are individually owned profit making entities who compete with each other in at least some economic markets, such as that for the sale of apparel bearing NFL symbols. …


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

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

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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 …


Unilateral Refusals To Deal, Vertical Integration, And The Essential Facility Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2008

Unilateral Refusals To Deal, Vertical Integration, And The Essential Facility Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Where it applies, the essential facility doctrine requires a monopolist to share its "essential facility." Since the only qualifying exclusionary practice is the refusal to share the facility itself, the doctrine comes about as close as antitrust ever does to condemning "no fault" monopolization. There is no independent justification for an essential facility doctrine separate and apart from general Section 2 doctrine governing the vertically integrated monopolist's refusal to deal. In its Trinko decision the Supreme Court placed that doctrine about where it should be. The Court did not categorically reject all unilateral refusal to deal claims, but it placed …


An Anti-Antitrust Activist?; Podium, Robert H. Lande Sep 1987

An Anti-Antitrust Activist?; Podium, Robert H. Lande

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No abstract provided.