Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban show how the Federal Trade Commission could have used its 2023 draft Merger Guidelines to focus its challenges against Microsoft-Activision and Meta-Within squarely on the pressing economic concern of protecting competition during critical technological transitions making full use of the law’s traditional incipiency standard.
Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban argue that the Federal Trade Commission's focus in Meta-Within and Microsoft-Activision on narrow markets like VR fitness apps and consoles missed the boat on the real competition issue: the threat to future competition in nascent markets like VR platforms and cloud gaming.
The Federal Trade Commission has recently lost a series of cases seeking to prevent Big Tech mergers and acquisitions. Jay Ezrielev offers several possible explanations for why the FTC continues to pursue these bad cases and suggests how the agency can refocus its energies to better serve its mission to protect competition going forward.
In response to both Herb Hovenkamp’s February 27 article in ProMarket and, perhaps more importantly, also to Hovenkamp’s highly regarded treatise, Lawrence B. Landman, first, shows that the Future Markets Model explains the court’s decision in Meta/Within. Since Meta was not even trying to make a future product, the court correctly found that Meta would not enter the Future Market. Second, the Future Markets Model is the analytical tool which Hovenkamp says the enforcers lack when they try to protect competition to innovate.
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