In the information economy, sellers can distort the truth about their products, and online intermediaries have incentives to skew the facts they provide to buyers. Mark Patterson discusses ways data can be manipulated for competitive advantage and consumer exploitation, and shows how courts can apply antitrust law to address these problems.
When it was first published a quarter of a century ago, Richard Posner's exposition and defense of an economic approach to antitrust law was a jeremiad against the intellectual disarray that then characterized the field. As other perspectives on antitrust law have fallen away, Posner's book has played a major role in transforming the field of antitrust law into a body of economically rational principles largely in accord with the ideas set forth in the first edition. Today's antitrust professionals may disagree on specific practices and rules, but most litigators, prosecutors, judges, and scholars agree that the primary goal of antitrust laws should be to promote economic welfare, and that economic theory should be used to determine how well business practices conform to that goal.
In this thoroughly revised edition, Posner explains the economic approach to new generations of lawyers and students. He updates and amplifies his approach as it applies to the developments, both legal and economic, in the antitrust field since 1976. The "new economy," for example, has presented a host of difficult antitrust questions, and in an entirely new chapter, Posner explains how the economic approach can be applied to new industries such as software manufacturers, Internet service providers, and those that provide communications equipment and services.
"The antitrust laws are here to stay," Posner writes, "and the practical question is how to administer them better-more rationally, more accurately, more expeditiously, more efficiently." This fully revised classic will continue to be the standard work in the field.
At a time when tech giants have amassed vast market power, Jonathan Baker shows how laws and regulations can be updated to ensure more competition. The sooner courts and antitrust enforcement agencies stop listening to the Chicago school and start paying attention to modern economics, the sooner Americans will reap the benefits of competition.
Predatory pricing has long been a contentious issue among lawmakers and economists. Legal actions are continually brought against companies. But the question remains: how likely are firms to cut prices in order to drive rivals out of business? Predatory firms risk having to keep prices below cost for such an extended period that it would become cost-prohibitive. Recently, economists have turned to game theory to examine circumstances under which predatory tactics could be profitable.
John R. Lott, Jr. provides long-awaited empirical analysis in this book. By examining firms accused of or convicted of predation over a thirty-year period of time, he shows that these firms are not organized as the game-theoretic or other models of predation would predict. In contrast, what evidence exists for predation suggests that government enterprises are more of a threat.
Lott presents crucial new data and analysis, attacking an issue of major legal and economic importance. This impressive work will be of great interest to economists, legal scholars, and antitrust policy makers.
How is it that two broadly similar systems of competition law have reached different results across a number of significant antitrust issues? While the United States and the European Union share a commitment to maintaining competition in the marketplace and employ similar concepts and legal language in making antitrust decisions, differences in social values, political institutions, and legal precedent have inhibited close convergence.
With The Atlantic Divide in Antitrust, Daniel J. Gifford and Robert T. Kudrle explore many of the main contested areas of contemporary antitrust, including mergers, price discrimination, predatory pricing, and intellectual property. After identifying how prevailing analyses differ across these areas, they then examine the policy ramifications. Several themes run throughout the book, including differences in the amount of discretion firms have in dealing with purchasers, the weight given to the welfare of various market participants, and whether competition tends to be viewed as an efficiency-generating process or as rivalry. The authors conclude with forecasts and suggestions for how greater compatibility might ultimately be attained.
The controversial 1922 Federal Baseball Supreme Court ruling held that the "business of base ball" was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act because it did not constitute interstate commerce. In Baseball on Trial, legal scholar Nathaniel Grow defies conventional wisdom to explain why the unanimous Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, which gave rise to Major League Baseball's exemption from antitrust law, was correct given the circumstances of the time.
Currently a billion dollar enterprise, professional baseball teams crisscross the country while the games are broadcast via radio, television, and internet coast to coast. The sheer scope of this activity would seem to embody the phrase "interstate commerce." Yet baseball is the only professional sport--indeed the sole industry--in the United States that currently benefits from a judicially constructed antitrust immunity. How could this be?
Drawing upon recently released documents from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Grow analyzes how the Supreme Court reached this seemingly peculiar result by tracing the Federal Baseball litigation from its roots in 1914 to its resolution in 1922, in the process uncovering significant new details about the proceedings. Grow observes that while interstate commerce was measured at the time by the exchange of tangible goods, baseball teams in the 1910s merely provided live entertainment to their fans, while radio was a fledgling technology that had little impact on the sport. The book ultimately concludes that, despite the frequent criticism of the opinion, the Supreme Court's decision was consistent with the conditions and legal climate of the early twentieth century.
Between 1951 and 1989, Congress held a series of hearings to investigate the antitrust aspects of professional sports leagues. Among the concerns: ownership control of players, restrictions on new franchises, territorial protection, and other cartel-like behaviors.
In The Big Leagues Go to Washington, David Surdam chronicles the key issues that arose during the hearings and the ways opposing sides used economic data and theory to define what was right, what was feasible, and what was advantageous to one party or another. As Surdam shows, the hearings affected matters as fundamental to the modern game as broadcasting rights, player drafts and unions, league mergers, and the dominance of the New York Yankees. He also charts how lawmakers from the West and South pressed for the relocation of ailing franchises to their states and the ways savvy owners dodged congressional interference when they could and adapted to it when necessary.
Why has antitrust legislation not lived up to its promise of promoting free-market competition and protecting consumers? Assessing 100 years of antitrust policy in the United States, this book shows that while the antitrust laws claim to serve the public good, they are as vulnerable to the influence of special interest groups as are agricultural, welfare, or health care policies. Presenting classic studies and new empirical research, the authors explain how antitrust caters to self-serving business interests at the expense of the consumer.
The contributors are Peter Asch, George Bittlingmayer, Donald J. Boudreaux, Malcolm B. Coate, Louis De Alessi, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, B. Epsen Eckbo, Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Roger L. Faith, Richard S. Higgins, William E. Kovacic, Donald R. Leavens, William F. Long, Fred S. McChesney, Mike McDonald, Stephen Parker, Richard A. Posner, Paul H. Rubin, Richard Schramm, Joseph J. Seneca, William F. Shughart II, Jon Silverman, George J. Stigler, Robert D. Tollison, Charlie M. Weir, Peggy Wier, and Bruce Yandle.
The Great Leveler
Brett Christophers Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HB238.C44 2016 | Dewey Decimal 338.6048
Brett Christophers shows how laws help capitalism maintain a crucial balance between competition and monopoly. When monopolistic forces dominate, antitrust law discourages the growth of corporations and restores competitiveness. When competition becomes dominant, intellectual property law protects corporate assets and encourages investment.
As millions of Americans are aware, health care costs continue to increase rapidly. Much of this increase in health care costs is due to the development of new life-sustaining drugs and procedures, but part of it is due to the increased monopoly power of physicians, insurance companies, and hospitals, as the health care sector undergoes reorganization and consolidation. There are two tools to limit the growth of monopoly power: government regulation and antitrust policy. In this timely book, Deborah Haas-Wilson argues that enforcement of the antitrust laws is the tool of choice in most cases. Focusing on the economic concepts necessary to the enforcement of the antitrust laws in health care markets, Haas-Wilson provides a useful roadmap for guiding the future of these markets.
In 1998, the United States Department of Justice and state antitrust agencies charged that Microsoft was monopolizing the market for personal computer operating systems. More than ten years later, the case is still the defining antitrust litigation of our era. William H. Page and John E. Lopatka’s The Microsoft Case contributes to the debate over the future of antitrust policy by examining the implications of the litigation from the perspective of consumer welfare.
The authors trace the development of the case from its conceptual origins through the trial and the key decisions on both liability and remedies. They argue that, at critical points, the legal system failed consumers by overrating government’s ability to influence outcomes in a dynamic market. This ambitious book is essential reading for business, law, and economics scholars as well as anyone else interested in the ways that technology, economics, and antitrust law have interacted in the digital age.
“This book will become the gold standard for analysis of the monopolization cases against Microsoft. . . . No serious student of law or economic policy should go without reading it.”—Thomas C. Arthur, Emory University
Rethinking Patent Law
Robin Feldman Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress KF3114.F38 2012 | Dewey Decimal 346.730486
Scientific and technological innovations are forcing the inadequacies of patent law into the spotlight. Robin Feldman explains why patents are causing so much trouble. She urges lawmakers to focus on crafting rules that anticipate future bargaining, not on the impossible task of assigning precise boundaries to rights when an invention is new.
This new collection examines not only how athletes looked to the nation’s judicial system to solve conflicts but also how their cases trans¬formed the interpretation of laws. These essays examine a vast array of social and legal controversies including Heywood v. NBA (1971), which allowed any player to enter the draft; Flood v. Kuhn (1972), which considered baseball’s antitrust status; the Danny Gardella lower level 1948 case regarding free agency and baseball; Muhammad Ali’s celebrated stance against the U.S. draft; Renée Richards’s 1976 lawsuit against the U.S. Tennis Association and its due process ramifications; and human rights violations in international law with respect to the increased recruitment of underage Latin baseball players in the Caribbean region are a few examples of the vast array of stories included. Sport and the Law links these cases to other cases and topics, giving the reader the opportunity to see the threads weaving law and sport together in American society.
In 2012, when the Justice Department sued Apple and five book publishers for price fixing, many observers sided with the defendants. It was a reminder that, in practice, Americans are ambivalent about competition. Chris Sagers shows why protecting price competition, even when it hurts some of us, is crucial if antitrust law is to preserve markets.
Ariel Ezrachi Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HF5548.32.E996 2016 | Dewey Decimal 381.142
Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke take a hard look at today’s app-assisted paradise of digital shopping. The algorithms and data-crunching that make online purchasing so convenient are also changing the nature of the market by shifting power into the hands of the few, with risks to competition, our democratic ideals, and our overall well-being.