Commentary

Taking Stock of Google’s Antitrust Troubles as the World Turns Against It

Christian Bergqvist has identified 100-plus antitrust cases against Google spanning 23 jurisdictions and classifies them by the service in question and its alleged harms. Most of these fall within eight groups. Bergqvist’s analysis provides a picture of recent shifts in antitrust enforcers’ regulation of Big Tech and the potentially transformative consequences for Google and the entire tech industry.

Why Was JetBlue-Spirit Blocked and What Does it Mean for the Airline Industry?

A federal judge recently blocked the proposed merger of JetBlue and Spirit airlines on antitrust grounds, reversing antitrust enforcers’ recent history of waving through airline industry consolidation. However, while this decision affirms that mergers designed to reduce competition and raise prices violate antitrust law, it comes too late to undo the damage from 15 years of lax enforcement that allowed radical consolidation in the airline industry.

Big Business’ Influence in the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement

Why has antitrust enforcement declined in the United States since the 1970s? Is it due to the preferences of voters, business influence, or an alternative explanation altogether? In this symposium, Jonathan Baker, Eleanor Fox, and Herbert Hovenkamp discuss the findings of Filippo Lancieri, Eric Posner, and Luigi Zingales’ new paper, “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States.” In this article, Posner responds to the discussants' critiques and comments.

Young People Are Shunning the Accounting Profession. The 150-Hour Rule Is Responsible

The supply of accountants in the United States is in serious decline due to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ decision in 1988 to raise entry requirements. Ray Ball argues that the rule change did not improve the quality or productivity of newly licensed accountants, but instead reflected the incentives of the Institute’s members to reduce entry to increase their own salaries.

Fans Last? How the Fans First Act Hands Live Nation-Ticketmaster More Market Power

The Senate has introduced two bills to address ticketing transparency and competition in the live events industry. While the bills followed on the heels of Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s mishandling of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, the problems go back much further. Diana Moss argues that the most recent bill, the Fans First Act, while well-intentioned, risks undermining competition by hamstringing the resale market, which will only strengthen Ticketmaster’s monopoly.

Why Business Should Be More Prosocial, and Ten Guidelines for How

Business and economic thought instituted at least since the Reagan revolution in the United States have promoted firms’ narrowly self-interested, profit-maximizing conduct even at the expense of consumers and workers. This paradigm leads to social distrust and insufficient cooperation. Steven C. Salop explains this distortion and proposes 10 guidelines by which firms can self-moderate their behavior to produce prosocial outcomes.

Has Antitrust Been Captured by Big Business Interests? It’s Not So Simple

Why has antitrust enforcement declined in the United States since the 1970s? Is it due to the preferences of voters, business influence, or an alternative explanation altogether? In this symposium, Jonathan Baker, Eleanor Fox, and Herbert Hovenkamp discuss the findings of Filippo Lancieri, Eric Posner, and Luigi Zingales’ new paper, “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States.” In this article, Baker critiques the big business capture theory the authors develop and suggests an alternative “settlement” theory to explain the shift toward weaker antitrust enforcement that began in the 1970s.

The Incredible Shrinking of Non-Cartel Antitrust

Eleanor Fox evaluates "The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States" by Professors Lancieri, Posner, and Zingales, praising its revelations on the depth of corporate capture while challenging its narrative of judicial and regulatory dissembling on promises to uphold antitrust.

How Companies Should Combat Rage Farming Attempts

Alan D. Jagolinzer and Sander van der Linden highlight a dangerous trend of influencers who deliberately target corporations with disinformation, called “rage farming.” The authors use United Airlines to illustrate the damage this can cause to a business and argue that corporations should counter rage farming with proactive messaging rather than staying silent.

The Surprising Culprit Behind Declining US Antitrust Enforcement

In contrast to a recent paper that argues the decline in antitrust enforcement over recent decades is due largely to the political influence of big business, Herbert Hovenkamp argues that small businesses and trade associations have historically had more influence over antitrust policy, often lobbying for less competition and higher prices.

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