The Latest

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

An Inconvenient Truth: Net Neutrality Depresses Broadband Investment

It happens at just about every hootenanny. There’s always at least one song that clears the dance floor. Some tunes, people just won’t dance to. But with a little remixing and a better tempo, even a dirge can be danceable. For years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has refused to dance to the tune of ... An Inconvenient Truth: Net Neutrality Depresses Broadband Investment

Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

The European Commission late last month published the full list of its “gatekeeper” designations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft—the six designated gatekeepers—now have six months to comply with the DMA’s list of obligations and restrictions with respect to their core platform services (CPS), or they stand to ... Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

Latin America Should Follow Its Own Path on Digital-Markets Competition

In order to promote competition in digital markets,[1] Latin American countries should not copy and paste “solutions” from other jurisdictions, but rather design their own set of policies. In short, Latin American countries—like my own, Peru—should not “put the cart before the horse” and regulate markets that are not yet mature. Digital or “tech” markets ... Latin America Should Follow Its Own Path on Digital-Markets Competition

Net Neutrality and Broken Records

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but why is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) playing a broken record? I’ve been writing a fair bit about Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rulemaking initiatives. On the theory that you deserve a nominal break from all of that, this post is mostly about the FCC. On ... Net Neutrality and Broken Records

The Biden Executive Order on AI: A Recipe for Anticompetitive Overregulation

The Biden administration’s Oct. 30 “Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” proposes to “govern… the development and use of AI safely and responsibly” by “advancing a coordinated, Federal Government-wide approach to doing so.” (Emphasis added.) This “all-of-government approach,” which echoes the all-of-government approach of the 2021 “Executive ... The Biden Executive Order on AI: A Recipe for Anticompetitive Overregulation

Gotta Go Fast: Sonic the Hedgehog Meets the FCC

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel this week announced a notice of inquiry (NOI) seeking input on a proposal to raise the minimum connection-speed benchmarks that the commission uses to define “broadband.” The current benchmark speed is 25/3 Mbps. The chair’s proposal would raise the benchmark to 100/20 Mbps, with a goal of having ... Gotta Go Fast: Sonic the Hedgehog Meets the FCC

When Progress Is Regressive: The Ordo-Brandeisian Devolution

It is no coincidence that ordoliberalism—the European (originally German) alternative to classical liberalism that emphasized the importance of the “social market” economy—and the New Brandeis or “neo-Brandeisian” movement, which harkens back to the Progressive Era thought of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, both are enjoying comebacks simultaneously. The effects of these ideological ... When Progress Is Regressive: The Ordo-Brandeisian Devolution

Biden’s AI Executive Order Sees Dangers Around Every Virtual Corner

Here in New Jersey, where I live, the day before Halloween is commonly celebrated as “Mischief Night,” an evening of adolescent revelry and light vandalism that typically includes hurling copious quantities of eggs and toilet paper. It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that President Joe Biden chose Oct. 30 to sign a sweeping executive order (EO) ... Biden’s AI Executive Order Sees Dangers Around Every Virtual Corner

Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

One of the most important changes in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) draft merger guidelines is the abandonment of market power as the central element of merger enforcement. The “unifying theme” of the 2010 horizontal merger guidelines was that “mergers should not be permitted to create, enhance, or entrench market ... Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

Everyone Discriminates Under the FCC’s Proposed New Rules

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed digital-discrimination rules hit the streets earlier this month and, as we say at Hootenanny Central, they’re a real humdinger.  It looks like the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) got most of their wishlist incorporated into the proposed rules. We’ve got disparate impact and a wide-open door for future ... Everyone Discriminates Under the FCC’s Proposed New Rules

Why Armen Alchian Is the GOAT

Tyler Cowen has a new online book out titled “GOAT: Who is the Greatest Economist of All Time, and Why Does it Matter?” While there are potential problems in treating ideas like basketball, the project is a fun, fast read overall. As the author of a newsletter with frequent gifs, I’m all for encouraging light-hearted ... Why Armen Alchian Is the GOAT

Shining the Light of Economics on the Google Case

The U.S. Justice Department has presented its evidence in the antitrust case alleging that Google unlawfully maintained a monopoly over “general search services” by “lock[ing] up distribution channels” through “exclusionary agreements” with makers and marketers of devices. Google’s agreements with Apple, for example, have made its search engine the default in Apple’s Safari browser. The ... Shining the Light of Economics on the Google Case