The Archives

The collection of all scholarly commentary on law, economics, and more

Showing archive for:  “”

Of Broken Windows and Broken Policy

Today the Obama administration announced with great pride that its economic stimulus plan created or saved about 650,000 jobs.  “Thank goodness!” reads the subtext.  If not for all those new and protected jobs, the unemployment numbers would be really bad! It appears no one in the administration’s economic advisory team has heard of Frédéric Bastiat.  ... Of Broken Windows and Broken Policy

Rhetoric Versus Reality, Part II

President Barack Obama, June 1, 2009: What we are not doing, what I have no interest in doing, is running GM. GM will be run by a private board of directors and management team with a track record in American manufacturing that reflects a commitment to innovation and quality. They, and not the government, will ... Rhetoric Versus Reality, Part II

The War Against Affordable Books

Last week Josh discussed the American Booksellers’ Association’s effort to get the Justice Department to pursue antitrust charges against Walmart, Target, and Amazon for engaging in a vigorous, consumer-benefiting price war. In today’s Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby has a nice piece highlighting a bit more of the Association’s tortured logic. (HT: Don Boudreaux.) Apparently, these ... The War Against Affordable Books

Is Apple Dumb?

The Economist seems to think so, relying on evidence from this new paper by Joel Waldfogel and Ben Shiller.  Waldfogel and Shiller find that, relative to uniform pricing at $.99, alternative pricing schemes including two part tariffs and various bundling schemes could raise producer surplus by somewhere between 17 and 30 percent.  Those are large ... Is Apple Dumb?

Welcome New TOTM Blogger Mike Sykuta

TOTM is extremely excited to announce the latest addition to our team, Mike Sykuta.  Readers might know Mike from his guest blogging stints at Organization and Markets.  Or perhaps making Brad DeLong’s Hall of Honor.  Mike joins J.W. Verret as the second addition to blog in the last week, and we hope to announce some ... Welcome New TOTM Blogger Mike Sykuta

Merger Guidelines Symposium Conclusion

Thanks to all of our participants in the Merger Guidelines Symposium.  We hope many of you, as well as our readers, will look back over the collected posts and engage in an ongoing dialogue in the comments over the many interesting ideas raised here.  You will find all of the posts from the symposium by ... Merger Guidelines Symposium Conclusion

Revisions to the Merger Guidelines: Above All, Do No Harm

My sense is that there is no need to revise the DOJ/FTC Horizontal Merger Guidelines, with one exception.  As Greg Werden points out, “a thorough revision would take up to three years and occupy some of the agencies’ best people for a total of more than two thousand hours.” The current guidelines lay out the ... Revisions to the Merger Guidelines: Above All, Do No Harm

Fix the Supply Side

Do the Merger Guidelines need revision? No.  Thanks for having me. OK. Yes–and market definition/market shares, and in particular the effective incorporation of supply-side effects, seem to me like the most pressing issues in need of attention. Judge Posner, in the first edition of his justly celebrated Antitrust Law, noted that market definition was an ... Fix the Supply Side

"Standardizing" the Horizontal Merger Guidelines

I’m confident that my esteemed colleagues, who have far more expertise about the merger guidelines than I, will offer all sorts of terrific ideas for revising the substance of the guidelines. While I would certainly advocate a few specific changes (i.e., revise the HHI thresholds to reflect actual agency practice), I’ll leave the devilish details ... "Standardizing" the Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Herbert Hovenkamp on Revising the Merger Guidelines

Yes, the Merger Guidelines should be revised; in particular: a.  The discussion of concentration thresholds for collusion facilitating mergers must be aligned more closely with both recent case law and actual enforcement practices; otherwise they fail to provide guidance.  The current Guidelines indicate that concentrations greater than 1800 HHI and a post-merger increase exceeding 100HHI ... Herbert Hovenkamp on Revising the Merger Guidelines

Let Sleeping Dogs…

I feel no great urgency to revise the Guidelines.  True enough, they’re more of an analytical thought experiment than an accurate description of how merger review takes place in the agencies, but who’s really fooled?  Perhaps some business people think that the Guidelines are a computer program waiting for the introduction of the relevant data ... Let Sleeping Dogs…

Andrew Gavil on Revising the Merger Guidelines

1.  Do the Merger Guidelines Need Revision? Yes.  Conceptually, the current Guidelines incorporate multiple strands of intellectual and legal history with respect to merger analysis that have been layered one upon the other over time, but never effectively integrated.  This now encumbers the application of the Guidelines and may be inhibiting the government’s capacity to ... Andrew Gavil on Revising the Merger Guidelines