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Antitrust

Law and Economics

University of Baltimore Law

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Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Jul 2015

Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

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Antitrust law provides treble damages for victims of antitrust violations, but the vast majority of private cases settle. The average or median size of these settlements relative to the overcharges involved has, until now, been only the subject of anecdotes or speculation. To ascertain what we term "Recovery Ratios," we assembled a sample consisting of every completed private U.S. cartel case discovered from 1990 to mid-2014 for which we could find the necessary information. For each of these 71 cases we collected, we assembled neutral scholarly estimates of affected commerce and overcharges. We compared these to the damages secured in …


Defying Conventional Wisdom: The Case For Private Antitrust Enforcement, Joshua P. Davis, Robert H. Lande Oct 2013

Defying Conventional Wisdom: The Case For Private Antitrust Enforcement, Joshua P. Davis, Robert H. Lande

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The conventional wisdom is that private antitrust enforcement lacks any value. Indeed, skepticism of private enforcement has been so great that its critics make contradictory claims. The first major line of criticism is that private enforcement achieves too little — it does not even minimally compensate the actual victims of antitrust violations and does not significantly deter those violations. A second line of criticism contends that private enforcement achieves too much — providing excessive compensation, often to the wrong parties, and producing overdeterrence. This article undertakes the first ever systematic evaluation of these claims. Building upon original empirical work and …


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

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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 …


Consumer Choice As The Best Way To Describe The Goals Of Competition Law, Robert H. Lande Aug 2012

Consumer Choice As The Best Way To Describe The Goals Of Competition Law, Robert H. Lande

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This article is both a short introduction to the Consumer Choice explanation for Competition Law or Antitrust Law, and also a short advocacy piece suggesting that Consumer Choice is the best way to articulate the goals of European Competition Law and United States Antitrust Law.

This article briefly:

  1. defines the consumer choice approach to antitrust or competition law and shows how it differs from other approaches;
  2. shows that the antitrust statutes and theories of violation embody a concern for optimal levels of consumer choice;
  3. shows that the United States antitrust case law embodies a concern for optimal levels of consumer …


The Fundamental Goal Of Antitrust: Protecting Consumers, Not Increasing Efficiency, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande Nov 2008

The Fundamental Goal Of Antitrust: Protecting Consumers, Not Increasing Efficiency, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande

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The conventional wisdom in the antitrust community is that the purpose of the antitrust laws is to promote economic efficiency. That view is incorrect. As this article shows, the fundamental goal of antitrust law is to protect consumers.

This article defines the relevant economic concepts, summarizes the legislative histories, analyzes recent case law in more depth than any prior article, and explores the most likely bases for current popular support of the antitrust laws. All these factors indicate that the ultimate goal of antitrust is not to increase the total wealth of society, but to protect consumers from behavior that …


Using The "Consumer Choice" Approach To Antitrust Law, Neil W. Averitt, Robert H. Lande Jan 2007

Using The "Consumer Choice" Approach To Antitrust Law, Neil W. Averitt, Robert H. Lande

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The current paradigms of antitrust law - price and efficiency - do not work well enough. They were an immense improvement over their predecessors, and they have served the field competently for a generation, producing reasonably accurate results in most circumstances. Accumulated experience has also revealed their shortcomings, however. They are hard to fully understand and are not particularly transparent in their application. Moreover, in a disturbingly large number of circumstances they are unable to handle the important issue of non-price competition.

In this article we suggest replacing the older paradigms with the somewhat broader approach of "consumer choice." The …


How High Do Cartels Raise Prices? Implications For Optimal Cartel Fines, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Dec 2005

How High Do Cartels Raise Prices? Implications For Optimal Cartel Fines, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

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This Article examines whether the current penalties in the United States Sentencing Guidelines are set at the appropriate levels to deter cartels optimally The authors analyze two data sets to determine how high on average cartels raise prices. The first consists of every published scholarly economic study of the effects of cartels on prices in individual cases. The second consists of every final verdict in a US. antitrust case in which a neutral finder of fact reported collusive overcharges. They report average overcharges of 49% and 31% for the two data sets, and median overcharges of 25% and 22%. They …


Resurrecting Incipiency: From Von's Grocery To Consumer Choice, Robert H. Lande Jan 2001

Resurrecting Incipiency: From Von's Grocery To Consumer Choice, Robert H. Lande

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The merger incipiency doctrine is virtually ignored in the courts today. This article argues that it should be resurrected, and it also explores the ways that effectuating Congressional intent in the area would reinvigorate merger policy.

The article documents how the legislative history of the antimerger statutes shows that Congress intended mergers to be evaluated under an incipiency approach, and explores the possible meanings of this idea. It then shows that this is a strong basis for reviving significantly stricter or more prophylactic merger enforcement.

The article shows how there are aspects of the doctrine that could be revived without …


The Three Types Of Collusion: Fixing Prices, Rivals, And Rules, Robert H. Lande, Howard P. Marvel Jan 2000

The Three Types Of Collusion: Fixing Prices, Rivals, And Rules, Robert H. Lande, Howard P. Marvel

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Collusion can profitably be classified into three distinct types. In our classification, "Type I" collusion is the familiar direct agreement among colluding firms (a cartel) to raise prices or, equivalently, restrict output. Alternatively, firms can collude to disadvantage rivals in ways that causes those rivals to cut output. We term this "Type II" collusion. Its indirect effect is an increase in market prices.

A number of important collusion cases neither direct manipulation of prices or output, nor direct attacks on rivals. Examples include Supreme Court cases such as National Society of Professional Engineers v. US, Bates v. State Bar of …


The Evolution Of United States Antitrust Law: The Past, Present, And (Possible) Future, Albert A. Foer, Robert H. Lande Oct 1999

The Evolution Of United States Antitrust Law: The Past, Present, And (Possible) Future, Albert A. Foer, Robert H. Lande

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As the world’s nations rapidly move from systems in which central planning and monopoly are replaced by free markets,2 it becomes increasingly valuable to consider the histories of competition policy experienced in different nations, on a comparative basis.3 In this article, we focus on the history of antitrust in the United States, the first nation to develop and fully-articulate a competition policy, drawing out themes that may be useful to other countries as they contemplate the shape and direction of their own competition regimes. We show that the American competition policy has reflected an underlying stability and bi-partisanship, but that …


Recent Trends In Merger Enforcement In The United States: The Increasing Impact Of Economic Analysis, Robert H. Lande, James Langenfeld Jan 1998

Recent Trends In Merger Enforcement In The United States: The Increasing Impact Of Economic Analysis, Robert H. Lande, James Langenfeld

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From its modern origins more than thirty years ago federal merger policy has centered around the use of standard surrogates for market power to make presumptions about the likely effects of mergers. Since that time it has been evolving towards an increasingly complex approach as economic considerations have expanded their influence on merger policy. This trend was solidified in the 1982 revision of the Department of Justice's Merger Guidelines, accelerated by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines' increased emphasis on unilateral (as opposed to collusive) anticompetitive effects, and has reached new heights in the …


Creating Competition Policy For Transition Economies: Introduction, Robert H. Lande Jan 1997

Creating Competition Policy For Transition Economies: Introduction, Robert H. Lande

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This is an introduction to a symposium on Creating Competition for Transition Economies. This article provides an overview of the topic, and also briefly introduces the authors of the articles in the symposium; William Kovacic, Eleanor Fox, Spencer Weber Waller, Malcolm Coate, and Armando Rodriguez.


Commentary: Implications Of Professor Scherer's Research For The Future Of Antitrust, Robert H. Lande Jan 1990

Commentary: Implications Of Professor Scherer's Research For The Future Of Antitrust, Robert H. Lande

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One way to test the accuracy of Professor Scherer's research is to compare it to the best previous work in the area. Prior to his current article the best analysis of the state of economic thinking and knowledge during antitrust's formative period was presented twelve years ago by—Professor Scherer. This was a skeletal precurser to the well-documented version that he now presents, but his overall conclusions are identical. During the twelve years since his conclusions were presented in the Yale Law Journal no one has demonstrated that his research is in any way faulty or misleading, even though many have …


Monopoly Power And Market Power In Antitrust Law, Thomas G. Krattenmaker, Robert H. Lande, Steven C. Salop Dec 1987

Monopoly Power And Market Power In Antitrust Law, Thomas G. Krattenmaker, Robert H. Lande, Steven C. Salop

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This article seeks an answer to a question that should be well settled: for purposes of antitrust analysis, what is 'market power' and/or 'monopoly power'? The question should be well settled because antitrust law requires proof of actual or likely market power or monopoly power to establish most types of antitrust violations.

Examination of key antitrust law opinions, however, shows that courts define 'market power' and 'monopoly power' in ways that are both vague and inconsistent. We conclude that the present level of confusion is unnecessary and results from two different but related errors:

(1) the belief or suspicion that …


Do The Doj Vertical Restraints Guidelines Provide Guidance?, Alan A. Fisher Ph.D., Frederick I. Johnson, Robert H. Lande Oct 1987

Do The Doj Vertical Restraints Guidelines Provide Guidance?, Alan A. Fisher Ph.D., Frederick I. Johnson, Robert H. Lande

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Vertical restraints come in a glittering menu of exceptional variety, including resale price maintenance (RPM), tying, exclusive dealing, requirements contracts, "best efforts" clauses, full-line forcing, airtight and nonairtight exclusive territories, customer restrictions, areas of primary responsibility, profit-passover provisions, restrictions on locations of outlets, and dual distribution. Firms sometimes combine vertical restraints into packages. The great variety of individual and combined vertical restraints complicates the discovery of market effects. Indeed, identifying what restraint(s) a given firm is using at any particular time can be difficult.