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.
ENTERPRISE AND AMERICAN LAW
Herbert HOVENKAMP Harvard University Press, 1991 Library of Congress KF1414.H68 1991 | Dewey Decimal 343.730809
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.
William Letwin's thorough, carefully argued, and elegantly written work is the only book length study of the Sherman Antitrust Act, a law designed to shape the economic life of a large complex society through maintaining the "correct" level of competition in the economy. This is a superb history and complete analysis of the Act, from its English and American common law antecedents to the events that led to the first revisions of the Act in the form of the Clayton Antitrust and Federal Trade Commission Acts.
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
The Organization of Industry collects essays written over two decades—pieces prepared especially for this volume, previously unpublished material, and reprinted articles drawn from numerous sources, many which include additional commentary by the author. The essays are unified by George J. Stigler's careful analysis and by his clear and witty style.
In part one, Stigler examines the nature of competition and monopoly. In part two he discusses the forces that determine the size structure of industry, including barriers to entry, economics of scale, and mergers. Part three contains articles on a wide range of topics, such as profitability, delivered price systems, block booking, the economics of information, and the kinky oligopoly demand curve and rigid price. Part four offers a discussion of antitrust policy and includes Stigler's recommendations for future policy as well as an examination of the effects of past policies.
"Stigler's writings might well be subtitled 'The Joys of Doing Economics.' He, more than any other contemporary American economist, dispels the gloom surrounding economic theory. It is impossible to confront the subject treated with such humor and verve and come away still believing that economics is the dismal science."—Shirley B. Johnson, American Scholar
The papers in this collection are drawn from the annual The Supreme Court Review, which, since its inception in 1960, has been regarded by such legal scholars as Robert F. Drinnan, S. J., as "An indispensable, universally quoted work of the highest scholarship regarding the world's most influential tribunal." Now some of the most important contributions to the Review have been brought together in paperback editions that focus on issues that are becoming increasingly relevant to the ordinary citizen's daily life.
Two Supreme Court decisions, NCAA v. Board of Regents (1984) and NCAA v. Tarkanian (1988), shaped college sports by permitting the emergence of a commercial enterprise with high financial stakes, while failing to guarantee adequate procedural protections for persons charged with wrongdoing within that enterprise. Brian L. Porto examines the conditions that led to the cases, the reasoning behind the rulings, and the consequences of those rulings. He proposes a federal statute that would grant the NCAA a limited "educational exemption" from antitrust laws, enabling it to enhance academic opportunities for athletes and affording greater procedural protections to accused parties in NCAA disciplinary proceedings.
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.