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Antitrust

2022

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fixing "Litigating The Fix", Steven C. Salop, Jennifer E. Sturiale Dec 2022

Fixing "Litigating The Fix", Steven C. Salop, Jennifer E. Sturiale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Merging firms have increasingly been asking trial courts to adjudicate their merger “as remedied” by a voluntary “fix.” These are remedies that have been rejected by (or never proposed to) the agency. This procedure is known as Litigating-the-Fix” (“LTF”). This article proposes a judicial procedure for managing cases in which the merging parties attempt to LTF. Our recommendations flow from a decision theory approach informed by the relevant LTF case law, the merger enforcement record, the language and goals of Section 7, and an economic analysis of the incentives of the parties and agencies created by LTF. Our recommendation addresses …


Cookies, Pop-Ups And Commercials: How Tech Companies' Privacy Promises Are Preserving Their Data Dominance, Cailley Lapara Dec 2022

Cookies, Pop-Ups And Commercials: How Tech Companies' Privacy Promises Are Preserving Their Data Dominance, Cailley Lapara

Capstones

As antitrust sentiment focused on Big Tech from regulators and consumers grows, companies like Google and Apple and more have announced plans to move away from the behavioral ad business model that brought the companies to the size they are today. This trend is marketed to customers as a way to address their growing concerns over privacy and data collection. It also comes as the companies face sweeping antitrust litigation and legislation that would break up the firms. But the companies' claims of moving towards privacy are sketchy at best, and appear to serve as a way for the companies …


Dynamic Pricing Algorithms, Consumer Harm, And Regulatory Response, Alexander Mackay, Samuel Weinstein Nov 2022

Dynamic Pricing Algorithms, Consumer Harm, And Regulatory Response, Alexander Mackay, Samuel Weinstein

Faculty Articles

Pricing algorithms are rapidly transforming markets, from ride-sharing, to air travel, to online retail. Regulators and scholars have watched this development with a wary eye. Their focus so far has been on the potential for pricing algorithms to facilitate explicit and tacit collusion. This Article argues that the policy challenges pricing algorithms pose are far broader than collusive conduct. It demonstrates that algorithmic pricing can lead to higher prices for consumers in competitive markets and even in the absence of collusion. This consumer harm can be initiated by a single firm employing a superior pricing algorithm. Higher prices arise from …


On The Misuse Of Regressions Of Price On The Hhi In Merger Review, Jonathan Baker Oct 2022

On The Misuse Of Regressions Of Price On The Hhi In Merger Review, Jonathan Baker

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The article explains why regressions of price on HHI should not be used in merger review. Both price and HHI are equilibrium outcomes determined by demand, supply, and the factors that drive them. Thus, a regression of price on the HHI does not recover a causal effect that could inform the likely competitive effects of a merger. Nonetheless, economic theory is consistent with the legal presumption that a merger is likely to have adverse competitive effects if it occurs in a concentrated market and makes that market more concentrated.


Antitrust Class Actions In The Wake Of Procedural Reform, Christine P. Bartholomew Oct 2022

Antitrust Class Actions In The Wake Of Procedural Reform, Christine P. Bartholomew

Indiana Law Journal

What is the current vitality of antitrust enforcement? Antitrust class actions—the primary mode of competition oversight—has weathered two decades of procedural reform. This Article documents the effects of those reforms. Relying on an original dataset of over 1300 antitrust class action settlements, this Article finds such cases alive but far from well. Certain suits do succeed on an impressive scale, returning billions of dollars to victims. But class action reform has made antitrust enforcement narrower, more time-consuming, and costlier than only a decade ago. And, as this Article’s sources reveal, new battle lines are forming. Across the political spectrum, people …


Out Of The Octagon And Into The Courtroom: The Ufc’S Antitrust Lawsuit, John Milas Sep 2022

Out Of The Octagon And Into The Courtroom: The Ufc’S Antitrust Lawsuit, John Milas

DePaul Journal of Sports Law

No abstract provided.


Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo Sep 2022

Inflation, Market Failures, And Algorithms, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Inflation is a problem of tremendous scale. But inflation itself is unlikely to cause the greatest economic harm during inflationary periods. Instead, a more likely source of devastation will be policymakers’ response to inflation. Their main anti-inflation tools, most notably increasing interest rates, increase unemployment and the risk of recessions. This Article argues that there is a better approach. Rather than defaulting to interest rate hikes that harm markets, policy makers should prioritize laws that lower prices while improving markets. For decades, businesses have raised prices by manipulating consumers, exercising monopoly power, and lobbying for laws that block competition. Automated …


Optimal Standards Of Proof In Antitrust, Murat C. Mungan, Joshua Wright Sep 2022

Optimal Standards Of Proof In Antitrust, Murat C. Mungan, Joshua Wright

Faculty Scholarship

Economic analyses of antitrust institutions have thus far focused predominantly on optimal penalties and the design of substantive legal rules, and have largely ignored the standard of proof used in trials as a policy tool in shaping behavior. This neglected tool can play a unique role in the antitrust context, where a given firm may have the choice to engage in exceptional anticompetitive or procompetitive behavior, or simply follow more conventional business practices. The standard of proof used in determining the legality of a firm’s conduct affects not only whether the firm chooses to engage in pro- versus anticompetitive behavior, …


Secondary Picketing, Trade Restraints, And The First Amendment: A Historical And Practical Case For Legal Stability Sep 2022

Secondary Picketing, Trade Restraints, And The First Amendment: A Historical And Practical Case For Legal Stability

Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal

Secondary picketing is picketing by a union aimed at someone other than the employer. It aims to coerce the other person to cut ties with the employer to gain leverage in a labor dispute. Today, secondary picketing is usually illegal; it is an unfair labor practice under section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) of the National Labor Relations Act. If a union pickets a neutral third party, it can be subject to unfair-labor-practice charges, or even an injunction. This article explores why the Court continues to draw that distinction. It surveys the arguments for liberalizing picketing rules, and it places them in historical context. …


Big Tech Is Why I Have (Anti)Trust Issues, Sophie Copenhaver Aug 2022

Big Tech Is Why I Have (Anti)Trust Issues, Sophie Copenhaver

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

“There is a cost to bigness, even if it’s not passed onto the consumer.” Antitrust laws were once an effective tool to break up companies that had grown too large. However, subsequent rulings have altered their original meaning, and they are no longer useful in regulating large technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. This Note will argue that judicial interpretation of antitrust laws should no longer be governed by the consumer welfare standard. Rather, judges should apply a two-part test, focusing on the market power and any anticompetitive business practices of the defendant corporation.


Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Aug 2022

Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

Antitrust enforcers and its other defenders have never done a good job of selling their field to the public. That is not entirely their fault. Antitrust is inherently technical, and a less engaging discipline to most people than, say, civil rights or criminal law. The more serious problem is that when the general press does talk about antitrust policy it naturally gravitates toward the fringes, both the far right and the far left. Extreme rhetoric makes for better press than the day-to-day operations of a technical enterprise. The extremes are often stated in overdramatized black-and-white terms that avoid the real …


Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege Aug 2022

Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege

Faculty Scholarship

The relationship between competition and innovation is difficult to disentangle, as exogenous variation in market structure is rare. The 1952 breakup of Germany’s leading chemical company, IG Farben, represents such a disruption. After the Second World War, the Allies occupying Germany imposed the breakup because of IG Farben’s importance for the German war economy instead of standard antitrust concerns. In technology areas where the breakup reduced concentration, patenting increased strongly, driven by domestic firms unrelated to IG Farben. An analysis of patent texts shows that an increased propensity to patent does not drive the effect. Descriptively, IG Farben’s successors increased …


President Biden's Executive Order On Competition: An Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2022

President Biden's Executive Order On Competition: An Antitrust Analysis, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

In July, 2021, President Biden signed a far ranging Executive Order directed to promoting competition in the American economy. This paper analyzes issues covered by the Order that are most likely to affect the scope and enforcement of antitrust law. The only passage that the Executive Order quoted from a Supreme Court antitrust decision captures its antitrust ideology well – that the Sherman Act:

rests on the premise that the unrestrained interaction of competitive forces will yield the best allocation of our economic resources, the lowest prices, the highest quality and the greatest material progress, while at the same time …


Privity 2.0 May Be Even Better For Tort Defendants, Anita Bernstein Jul 2022

Privity 2.0 May Be Even Better For Tort Defendants, Anita Bernstein

Florida State University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Privity 2.0 May Be Even Better For Tort Defendants, Anita Bernstein Jul 2022

Privity 2.0 May Be Even Better For Tort Defendants, Anita Bernstein

Florida State University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Anticompetitive Merger Review, Samuel N. Weinstein Jul 2022

Anticompetitive Merger Review, Samuel N. Weinstein

Faculty Articles

U.S. antitrust law empowers enforcers to review pending mergers that might undermine competition. But there is growing evidence that the merger-review regime is failing to perform its core procompetitive function. Industry concentration and the power of dominant firms are increasing across key sectors of the economy. In response, progressive advocates of more aggressive antitrust interventions have critiqued the substantive merger-review standard, arguing that it is too friendly to merging firms. This Article traces the problem to a different source: the merger-review process itself. The growing length of reviews, the competitive restrictions merger agreements place on acquisition targets during review, and …


Criminal Enforcement Of Section 2 Of The Sherman Act: An Empirical Assessment, Daniel A. Crane Jun 2022

Criminal Enforcement Of Section 2 Of The Sherman Act: An Empirical Assessment, Daniel A. Crane

Law & Economics Working Papers

The Biden Justice Department has announced that it may begin to bring criminal monopolization cases under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, a practice that the Department has not employed in almost half a century. The Department's leadership has justified this idea by asserting that it used to be common practice for the Antitrust Division to bring such cases. This Article presents the findings of an empirical study of all of the Justice Department's antitrust case filings. It finds that the Justice Depart brought 175 criminal monopolization cases between 1903 and 1977, but that only 20 of these involved unilateral …


Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2022

Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

This reply briefly considers when false advertising can give rise to antitrust liability. The biggest difference between tort and antitrust liability is that the latter requires harm to the market, which is critically dependent on actual consumer response. As a result, the biggest hurdle a private plaintiff faces in turning an act of false advertising into an antitrust offense is proof of causation – to what extent can a decline in purchase volume or other market rejection be specifically attributed to the defendant’s false claims? That requirement dooms the great majority of false advertising claims attacked as violations of the …


A New Antitrust Framework To Protect Mom And Pop From Big Tech, Cara Macdonald May 2022

A New Antitrust Framework To Protect Mom And Pop From Big Tech, Cara Macdonald

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

While the economy declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, big technology companies like Amazon and Oracle experienced unprecedented growth and influence. Critics argue big technology companies are finding this level of success in-part due to anticompetitive practices. The crux of the debate rests on whether current, traditional antitrust laws are sufficient to cope with big technology companies. Some theorists argue that current laws are adequate, while others assert that antitrust laws are insufficient to regulate big technology companies because they are so different from the types of companies antitrust laws were designed to regulate. This article concludes that big tech companies …


Ftc V. Qualcomm And The Need To Reboot Antitrust Goals, Beatriz Del Chiaro Da Rosa May 2022

Ftc V. Qualcomm And The Need To Reboot Antitrust Goals, Beatriz Del Chiaro Da Rosa

University of Miami Business Law Review

The antitrust community is facing a demanding question: Is antitrust enforcement ultimately about protecting consumers, competition, or both? This question has sparked debates about the ultimate goals of antitrust law. On one side of the debate, supporters of the consumer welfare standard; and on the other side, supporters of the Neo-Brandeisian standard of enforcement. At this crucial time in the debate of overarching antitrust goals, the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm Incorporated, one of the most important antitrust cases in the twenty-first century, poses many issues for the consumer welfare standard and antitrust enforcement in the …


Probing For Holes In The 100-Year-Old Baseball Exemption: A New Post-Alston Challenge, Sam C. Ehrlich May 2022

Probing For Holes In The 100-Year-Old Baseball Exemption: A New Post-Alston Challenge, Sam C. Ehrlich

University of Cincinnati Law Review

As professional baseball’s unique exemption to antitrust law celebrates its one-hundredth year of existence, it faces a new attack in Nostalgia Partners v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, a claim by a group of minor league owners shut out of MLB’s recent restructuring of its minor league affiliate system. While the baseball exemption has weathered dozens of similar challenges over the past century, the Nostalgia Partners plaintiffs claim that circumstances on the Supreme Court have changed enough that the justices would be willing to overturn or narrow the exemption in their favor. This claim rests with the Court’s …


Antitrust Philosophy And Its Impact On Rural Industry, Logan Gary Johnson May 2022

Antitrust Philosophy And Its Impact On Rural Industry, Logan Gary Johnson

Honors Thesis

The United States is a nation steeped in values, and tradition. One of these values has always been the preservation of competition in the pursuit of liberty. The philosophical backing of America’s founding can be traced back to a handful of European thinkers, most notably John Locke. The connection between Locke, America’s founding, and continued struggles with antitrust enforcement are worthy of exploration. Though likely unintentional, rural communities have been left to deal with the impacts of weak antitrust enforcement in a number of key sectors. Chief of which is Agriculture. Consolidation is the new norm, with each stage of …


Mergers, Antitrust, And The Interplay Of Entrepreneurial Activity And The Investments That Fund It, Gary Dushnitsky, D. Daniel Sokol May 2022

Mergers, Antitrust, And The Interplay Of Entrepreneurial Activity And The Investments That Fund It, Gary Dushnitsky, D. Daniel Sokol

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

This Article addresses the potentially negative implications of proposed antitrust legislation on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in general, with a particular focus on the venture capitalists (VCs) that fund it. First, it offers a review of how antitrust merger law currently works and how proposed legislative changes to antitrust may threaten the innovative Venture Capital (VC)-backed ecosystem that has made the United States the center of global innovation across many different industries. Accompanying this review are some empirical observations. Second, recognizing that the understanding of innovative entrepreneurial activity calls for a deep appreciation of those who back it, the Article also …


Digital Cluster Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2022

Digital Cluster Markets, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper considers the role of “cluster” markets in antitrust litigation, the minimum requirements for recognizing such markets, and the relevance of network effects in identifying them.

One foundational requirement of markets in antitrust cases is that they consist of products that are very close substitutes for one another. Even though markets are nearly always porous, this principle is very robust in antitrust analysis and there are few deviations.

Nevertheless, clustering noncompeting products into a single market for purposes of antitrust analysis can be valuable, provided that its limitations are understood. Clustering contributes to market power when (1) many customers …


Rebuilding Platform Antitrust: Moving On From Ohio V. American Express, Steven C. Salop, Daniel Francis, Lauren Sillman, Michaela Spero Apr 2022

Rebuilding Platform Antitrust: Moving On From Ohio V. American Express, Steven C. Salop, Daniel Francis, Lauren Sillman, Michaela Spero

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Now that the immediate fallout from the Supreme Court’s blockbuster Amex decision has cooled, this Article aims to give a first draft of its place in antitrust history and to offer a roadmap for the next stage of the evolution of platform antitrust analysis. We focus on several issues that have not been fully analyzed in the literature. First, we argue that, rather than mangling the law of market definition, the Court should have explicitly permitted multi-market balancing of effects across the separate markets in which the platform was active. Second, we propose standards to implement such balancing in cases …


The Relationship Between Privacy And Antitrust, Maurice Stucke Mar 2022

The Relationship Between Privacy And Antitrust, Maurice Stucke

Scholarly Works

This Essay recaps the policymakers’, enforcers’, and scholars’ thinking on the relationship between antitrust and privacy. Currently, the thinking is that improving privacy protection is a necessary, but not sufficient, step to address some of the risks posed by these data-opolies and deter data hoarding, a key source of their power.

The policies proposed in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America as of early 2022 all assume that with more competition, privacy and well-being will be restored. In looking at the reforms proposed to date, policymakers and scholars have not fully addressed several fundamental issues.

One issue is whether more …


Sovereignty 2.0, Anupam Chander, Haochen Sun Mar 2022

Sovereignty 2.0, Anupam Chander, Haochen Sun

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Digital sovereignty-the exercise of control over the internet-is the ambition of the world's leaders, from Australia to Zimbabwe, seen as a bulwark against both foreign states and foreign corporations. Governments have resoundingly answered first-generation internet law questions of who, if anyone, should regulate the internet. The answer: they all will. Governments now confront second-generation questions--not whether, but how to regulate the internet. This Article argues that digital sovereignty is simultaneously a necessary incident of democratic governance and democracy's dreaded antagonist. As international law scholar Louis Henkin taught, sovereignty can insulate a government's worst ills from foreign intrusion. Assertions of digital …


Megacorporations Are Jacking Up Prices 'Because They Can,' Pushing Red-Hot Inflation To Historic Levels, Robert H. Lande Feb 2022

Megacorporations Are Jacking Up Prices 'Because They Can,' Pushing Red-Hot Inflation To Historic Levels, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

This article argues that corporations may be taking advantages of supply chain bottlenecks and shortages to collude and raise prices illegally. Although price fixing is illegal, the current levels of penalties are far too low. This gives firms an incentive to collude. Before the pandemic, when inflation was low, consumers and the antitrust enforcers would have been more likely to notice any sudden price increases and investigate whether they were caused by collusion. But using bottlenecks and shortages as cover, companies can take advantage of their years of consolidation and collude more easily with less chance of it being detected. …


Note: Trust In The Digital Marketplace: Amazon, Third-Party Sellers, And Informational Fiduciaries, Jesse-Paul Crane Feb 2022

Note: Trust In The Digital Marketplace: Amazon, Third-Party Sellers, And Informational Fiduciaries, Jesse-Paul Crane

Notre Dame Journal on Emerging Technologies

The rise of e-commerce has created a number of online marketplaces where digital platforms connect buyers and sellers. Consumers use platforms like Amazon, Etsy, Instacart, Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb to purchase goods and services from third parties while the platform itself takes a fee for operating the marketplace. Online platforms are not the only businesses that use such a “two-sided” marketplace model. The Supreme Court recently addressed antitrust concerns in this type of marketplace in Ohio v. Am. Express Co. 1 Two-sided markets invoke a number of novel legal issues that impact both those who buy and sell over them, …


The Progressives' Antitrust Toolbox, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2022

The Progressives' Antitrust Toolbox, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

The period 1900 to 1930 was the Golden Age of antitrust theory, if not of enforcement. During that period courts and scholars developed nearly all of the tools that we use to this day to assess anticompetitive practices under the federal antitrust laws. In subsequent years antitrust policy veered to both the left and the right, but today seems to be returning to a position quite similar to the one that these Progressive adopted. Their principal contributions were (1) partial equilibrium analysis, which became the basis for concerns about economic concentration, the distinction between short- and long-run analysis, and later …