Settlement Theory

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.