The Latest

The most recent scholarly commentary on law, economics, and more

Does the DMA Let Gatekeepers Protect Data Privacy and Security?

It’s been an eventful two weeks for those following the story of the European Union’s implementation of the Digital Markets Act. On April 18, the European Commission began a series of workshops with the companies designated as “gatekeepers” under the DMA: Apple, Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, ByteDance, and Microsoft. And even as those workshops were still ... Does the DMA Let Gatekeepers Protect Data Privacy and Security?

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: The Supply Chain, Part Deux

But First, Money Makes the World Go ‘Round For all my carping about this or that program or enforcement matter, it seems to me a very good thing that Congress passed—and President Joe Biden signed into law—the spending package that will keep much of the federal government up and running for Fiscal Year 2024 (see ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: The Supply Chain, Part Deux

Capital Confusion at the New York Times

In a recent guest essay for The New York Times, Aaron Klein of the Brookings Institution claims that the merger between Capital One and Discover would “keep intact the broken and predatory system in which credit card companies profit handsomely by rewarding our richest Americans and advantaging the biggest corporations.” That’s quite an indictment! Fortunately, Klein also ... Capital Confusion at the New York Times

US v. Apple Lawsuit Has Big Implications for Competition and Innovation

The lawsuit filed yesterday by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) against Apple for monopolization of the U.S. smartphone market (joined by 15 states and the District of Columbia) has big implications for American competition and innovation. At the heart of the complaint is the DOJ’s assertion that: [Apple’s] anticompetitive acts include, but are not limited ... US v. Apple Lawsuit Has Big Implications for Competition and Innovation

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Supply Chains, Noncompetes, and Greedflation

The big news from the agencies may be the lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and 16 states against Apple alleging monopoly maintenance in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. It’s an 86-page complaint and it’s just out. I’ll write more about it next week. Two quick observations: First, the ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Supply Chains, Noncompetes, and Greedflation

Murthy Oral Arguments: Standing, Coercion, and the Difficulty of Stopping Backdoor Government Censorship

With Monday’s oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri, we now have more of a feel for how the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be considering the issues of social-media censorship—in this case, done allegedly at the behest of federal officials. In the International Center for Law & Economics’ (ICLE) amicus brief in the case, we ... Murthy Oral Arguments: Standing, Coercion, and the Difficulty of Stopping Backdoor Government Censorship

Systemic Risk and Copyright in the EU AI Act

The European Parliament’s approval last week of the AI Act marked a significant milestone in the regulation of artificial intelligence. While the law’s final text is less alarming than what was initially proposed, it nonetheless still includes some ambiguities that could be exploited by regulators in ways that would hinder innovation in the EU.  Among ... Systemic Risk and Copyright in the EU AI Act

Section 214: Title II’s Trojan Horse

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed classifying broadband internet-access service as a common carrier “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. One major consequence of this reclassification would be subjecting broadband providers to Section 214 regulations that govern the provision, acquisition, and discontinuation of communication “lines.” In the Trojan War, the Greeks ... Section 214: Title II’s Trojan Horse

Mi Mercado Es Su Mercado: The Flawed Competition Analysis of Mexico’s COFECE

Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE, after its Spanish acronym) has published the preliminary report it prepared following its investigation of competition in the retail electronic-commerce market (e.g., Amazon). The report finds that:  there are elements to preliminarily determine that there are no conditions of effective competition in the Relevant Market of Sellers and in ... Mi Mercado Es Su Mercado: The Flawed Competition Analysis of Mexico’s COFECE

The Broken Promises of Europe’s Digital Regulation

If you live in Europe, you may have noticed issues with some familiar online services. From consent forms to reduced functionality and new fees, there is a sense that platforms like Amazon, Google, Meta, and Apple are changing the way they do business.  Many of these changes are the result of a new European regulation ... The Broken Promises of Europe’s Digital Regulation

A Closer Look at Spotify’s Claims About Apple’s App-Store Practices

Following Monday’s announcement by the European Commission that it was handing down a €1.8 billion fine against Apple, Spotify—the Swedish music-streaming service that a decade ago lodged the initial private complaint that spawned the Commission’s investigation—published a short explainer on its website titled “Fast Five Facts: Facts that Show Apple Doesn’t Play Fair.” The gist ... A Closer Look at Spotify’s Claims About Apple’s App-Store Practices

Blackout Rebates: Tipping the Scales at the FCC

Cable and satellite programming blackouts often generate significant headlines. While the share of the population affected by blackouts may be small—bordering on minuscule—most consumers don’t like the idea of programming blackouts and balk at the idea of paying for TV programming they can’t access.  Enter the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a bold proposal to ... Blackout Rebates: Tipping the Scales at the FCC