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)

The ProMarket Monthly Roundup

The first edition of our monthly roundup that includes ProMarket posts from the previous month, as well as interesting stories from our “Weekly Briefing” section. The...

140 Years of Antitrust: Are Brandeisian Pro-Competition and Anti-Monopoly Sentiments Coming Back Into the Political Discourse?

The first installment in a four-part series about the history of antitrust language in American political discourse: politicians from the Right and the Left...

Capture and Ignorance in Financial Regulation

The most fruitful avenue for reducing regulatory capture is to impose more checks-and-balances on our agencies, reversing recent trends toward expediency. After spending some years...

How Can Antitrust Be Used to Protect Competition in the Digital Marketplace?

In this second part of our two-part interview with Maurice Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi, the two discuss how competition authorities can mitigate tacit collusion...

Is the Digital Economy Much Less Competitive Than We Think It Is?

Maurice E. Stucke from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Ariel Ezrachi of Oxford University explain how big data and artificial intelligence can be...

Meet the Sugar Barons Who Used Both Sides of American Politics to Get Billions in Subsidies

Meet the Florida-based Fanjul brothers, who inject money to both political parties and dominate an industry that enjoys billions of dollar's worth of subsidies and protections.  Last week,...

American Antitrust Is Having a Moment: Some Reactions to Commissioner Ohlhausen’s Recent Views

Contrary to what Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen says, there is in fact no meaningful proof that consolidation generates social benefits. Editor's note: In...

Corporate Culture in Investment Banking: An Inside Look

A former investment banker examines the culture that incentivizes people in the industry to put their interests before their clients’. Part three in a...

How Rich are the Parents of Your Money Manager, and What Does it Tell You About his Alpha?

In the last few decades, numerous studies in financial literature have been devoted to the question of “alpha”—that is, the ability of money managers...

Certificate of Need Laws Show Entry Barriers Can Raise Spending

In most states, health care providers who seek to open a new hospital must obtain a “certificate of need” (CON) from a state board certifying...

Latest news

Fear of Punishment Distorts Bank Financial Reporting

When bank employees are afraid of punishment from regulators, they are likely to conceal information about their faulty decisions. This in turn...

Should The Competitive Process Test Replace The Consumer Welfare Standard?

Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, recently gave a speech condemning the use of the consumer...

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...