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Antitrust

Faculty Scholarship

Boston University School of Law

2020

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo Nov 2020

In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Calls for breaking up monopolies—especially Amazon, Facebook, and Google—have largely focused on proving that past acquisitions of companies like Whole Foods, Instagram, and YouTube were anticompetitive. But scholars have paid insufficient attention to another major obstacle that also explains why the government in recent decades has not broken up a single large company. After establishing that an anticompetitive merger or other act has occurred, there is great skepticism of breakups as a remedy. Judges, scholars, and regulators see a breakup as extreme, frequently comparing the remedy to trying to “unscramble eggs.” They doubt the government’s competence in executing such a …


Information Technology And Industry Concentration, James Bessen Aug 2020

Information Technology And Industry Concentration, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

Industry concentration has been rising in the US since 1980. Firm operating margins have also been rising. Are these signs of declining competition that call for a new antitrust policy? This paper explores the role of proprietary information technology systems (IT), which could increase industry concentration and margins by raising the productivity of top firms relative to others. Using instrumental variable estimates, this paper finds that IT system use is strongly associated with the level and growth of industry concentration and firm operating margins. The paper also finds that IT system use is associated with relatively larger establishment size and …


The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo Apr 2020

The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

The world’s largest businesses must routinely police other businesses. By public mandate, Facebook monitors app developers’ privacy safeguards, Citibank audits call centers for deceptive sales practices, and Exxon reviews offshore oil platforms’ environmental standards. Scholars have devoted significant attention to how policy makers deploy other private sector enforcers, such as certification bodies, accountants, lawyers, and other periphery “gatekeepers.” However, the literature has yet to explore the emerging regulatory conscription of large firms at the center of the economy. This Article examines the rise of the enforcer-firm through case studies of the industries that are home to the most valuable companies, …


Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon Mar 2020

Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, the Federal Circuit undermined copyright law’s deference to patent law and, in doing so, delivered a blow to both regimes. Copyright’s deference— including a historic refusal to enforce rights that might undermine the public’s liberty to copy unpatented inventions-- is a necessary part of preserving inventors’ willingness to accept the short duration, mandatory disclosure, and other stringent bargains demanded by patent law. Deference to patent law is also integral to copyright law’s interior architecture; copyright’s refusal to monopolize functional applications of creative work lowers the social costs that would otherwise be imposed by …