An outlet for insiders to speak freely (as they remain anonymous to the reader) on what they perceive as problematic practices in their own industry – with an emphasis on how the industry tweaks the rules of the game and captures regulation.
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice.” Adam Smith – An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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