Antitrust and Competition

Antitrust and Labor

Does antitrust have a labor market problem? The last few years have seen growing interest among academic scholars in the causes and effects of concentration in US labor markets. Concurrently (and not unrelated), there has been an explosion of interest among policymakers and the general public in the impact that firms with market power may have on wages and working conditions. What do the data say regarding employer concentration and its effect on workers? Is antitrust in its current form equipped to address issues related to labor market power? In an attempt to answer these questions and more, we have decided to launch a series of articles on antitrust and the labor market.

Corporate Governance

The system of formal and informal rules by which a company is governed. Corporate governance shapes more than just a given's company value - it dictates who controls the capital in the economy and so how this capital is being put the use. Corporate governance therefore affects and is affected by the degree of cronyism and rent-seeking in society.

Media

Effective media scrutiny can help mitigate many of the problems that lead to regulatory capture, by helping the polity to become informed and mobilized. But what are the conditions that create effective media scrutiny? And why do we observe so little of it in reality? “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Regulatory Capture

When regulation protects narrow interests – usually the interests of the incumbent industry – at the expense of the public interest. Capture occurs in various ways: from straightforward bribes and threats, to more implicit quid pro quos such as the lucrative future employment (revolving door), to softer forms of cognitive/cultural capture. “... as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” George Stigler - The Theory of Economic Regulation (1971)

Special interest groups

Special interest groups: Groups with preferences that differ from the preferences of the median voter. There is nothing wrong with special interests forming groups per se; the trouble starts when they disproportionally sway policy in their favor. “...the great enemy of democracy is monopoly, in all its forms: gigantic corporations, trade associations and other agencies for price control, trade-union… Effectively organized functional groups possess tremendous power for exploiting the community at large and even sabotaging the system.” Henry Calvert Simons - A Positive Program for Laissez Faire (1934)

Delaware: The State Where Companies Can Vote

Adapted from What’s the Matter with Delaware: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal—and How It Costs Us...

The NCAA Goes After College Athletes’ NIL Money—Here are the Antitrust Implications for Workers and Consumers

Having lost in the Supreme Court on student-athlete academic benefits, the NCAA has signaled a continuing attempt to suppress competition in the...

Have Business Roundtable Companies Lived Up to Their Stakeholder Commitments?  

In 2019, more than 100 CEOs of US public companies signed a Business Roundtable statement in which they pledged to deliver value...

Mergers and Smoking Guns

A recently uncovered memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner reveals how they thought about antitrust and merger policy in advising the...

Will “Portfolio Primacy” Throw a Monkey Wrench in Elon Musk’s Plans to Acquire Twitter?

The SEC's definition of fiduciary duty allows institutional shareholders to vote against Elon Musk's Twitter takeover bid thanks to portfolio primacy.

How Europe Can Enforce the Digital Markets Act Effectively 

As the European Commission gets ready to embark on the complicated task of implementing the recently agreed-upon Digital Market Act, which would...

How Enlightened is Enlightened Shareholder Value?

There has been growing support for replacing the traditional corporate purpose with so-called “enlightened shareholder value,” which would guide firms to consider...

The Passive Mechanisms of Common Ownership

A new paper explores the conundrum that common ownership poses for antitrust enforcers and competition and corporate scholars and sheds light on...

A Posner-Stigler Smoking Gun?

A memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner to the Reagan administration was recently unearthed. To understand the meaning behind the memo,...

DOJ Antitrust Head Jonathan Kanter: “We Are Making It Very Clear: We’re Going to Hold Individuals Accountable”

In an interview with ProMarket, assistant attorney general Jonathan Kanter, head of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, explains why he believes...

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Delaware: The State Where Companies Can Vote

Adapted from What’s the Matter with Delaware: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal—and How It Costs Us...

The NCAA Goes After College Athletes’ NIL Money—Here are the Antitrust Implications for Workers and Consumers

Having lost in the Supreme Court on student-athlete academic benefits, the NCAA has signaled a continuing attempt to suppress competition in the...

Have Business Roundtable Companies Lived Up to Their Stakeholder Commitments?  

In 2019, more than 100 CEOs of US public companies signed a Business Roundtable statement in which they pledged to deliver value...

Do Protests Matter At All for Shifting Government Policy Around Economic Redistribution?

New research on the effectiveness of protests on government distributions provides insights into the political incentives of a country’s leadership and the...

Mergers and Smoking Guns

A recently uncovered memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner reveals how they thought about antitrust and merger policy in advising the...

Will “Portfolio Primacy” Throw a Monkey Wrench in Elon Musk’s Plans to Acquire Twitter?

The SEC's definition of fiduciary duty allows institutional shareholders to vote against Elon Musk's Twitter takeover bid thanks to portfolio primacy.

How Europe Can Enforce the Digital Markets Act Effectively 

As the European Commission gets ready to embark on the complicated task of implementing the recently agreed-upon Digital Market Act, which would...