Commentary

The Antitrust Agencies’ Focus on Monopolization Claims Against Big Tech Dilutes the Meaning of Monopoly

The various antitrust complaints the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have brought against Google, Amazon, and Facebook are based on monopolization claims under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Herbert Hovenkamp explains why the government should also  have relied on Section 1 of the Sherman Act and Section 7 of the Clayton Act to support their Big Tech cases.

Why Musk Is Right About OpenAI

Luigi Zingales argues that Elon Musk is right to sue OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman, given the economic principles at stake.

Refuting the Myths Defending the JetBlue-Spirit Merger

For the first time in decades, the Department of Justice filed suit against an airline merger—and won. William McGee argues that the next fight is correcting false assertions concerning JetBlue and Spirit for the sake of future potential mergers, such as one between Alaskan and Hawaiian Airlines.

What Have The Consultants Ever Done For Us?

Tommaso Valletti argues that economic consultants have made little meaningful contribution to antitrust policy and enforcement over the past 20 years—despite their assertions of bringing academic insights to practice. Valletti calls for more critical scrutiny of consultants' biased economic analyses by antitrust authorities and courts, as well as greater use of structural presumptions in merger review.

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.

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