The Archives

Everything written by Geoffrey A. Manne on law, economics, and more

Live Nation Breakup: Are Mergers Really to Blame for Ticketmaster’s Problems?

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced yesterday that it has filed suit, along with 29 states and the District of Columbia, charging Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiary Ticketmaster LLC with monopolizing the live-events industry in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.  The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the ... Live Nation Breakup: Are Mergers Really to Blame for Ticketmaster’s Problems?

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

How the FTC’s Amazon Case Gerrymanders Relevant Markets and Obscures Competitive Processes

As Greg Werden has noted, the process of defining the relevant market in an antitrust case doesn’t just finger which part of the economy is allegedly affected by the challenged conduct, but it also “identifies the competitive process alleged to be harmed.” Unsurprisingly, plaintiffs in such proceedings (most commonly, antitrust enforcers) often seek to set ... How the FTC’s Amazon Case Gerrymanders Relevant Markets and Obscures Competitive Processes

The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers that harm competition in “in any line” of commerce. And, indeed, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Philadelphia National Bank and Topco are often cited on behalf of the proposition that this means any single cognizable market, and that anticompetitive effects in one market cannot be offset by ... The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

An FTC Complaint Against Amazon Gets Personal

There is much in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) record over the past two years that could be categorized as abnormal. There is, for instance, nothing “normal” about using the threat of excessive force to cower businesses into submission. Introducing sky high costs for the filing of mergers isn’t normal, as it will scare away ... An FTC Complaint Against Amazon Gets Personal

South Africa’s Competition Proposal Takes Europe’s DMA Model to the Extreme

The South African Competition Commission (SACC) has proposed changes to the nation’s digital-market regulation that could deal a significant blow to an already struggling South African economy. Ostensibly intended to protect online competition, the SACC’s plan to reshape the business models of “online intermediation platforms” like Google and Booking.com would entail a radical departure from traditional competition regulation. This ... South Africa’s Competition Proposal Takes Europe’s DMA Model to the Extreme

The FTC’s Gambit Against Amazon: Navigating a Multiverse of Blowback and Consumer Harm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly poised some time within the next month to file a major antitrust lawsuit against Amazon—the biggest yet against the company and the latest in a long string of cases targeting U.S. tech firms (see, for example, here and here). While specific details of the suit remain largely unknown ... The FTC’s Gambit Against Amazon: Navigating a Multiverse of Blowback and Consumer Harm

If Necessity Is the Mother of Invention, New EU SEP Rules Are Decidedly Unnecessary

An unofficial version of the EU’s anticipated regulatory proposal on standard essential patents (SEPs), along with a related impact assessment, was leaked earlier this month, generating reactions that range from disquiet to disbelief (but mostly disbelief). Our friend Igor Nikolic wrote about it here on Truth on the Market, and we share his his concern that: As it currently stands, it appears the regulation will ... If Necessity Is the Mother of Invention, New EU SEP Rules Are Decidedly Unnecessary

Twitter v. Taamneh and the Law & Economics of Intermediary Liability

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law will host a hearing this afternoon on Gonzalez v. Google, one of two terrorism-related cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court that implicate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. We’ve written before about how the Court might and should rule in ... Twitter v. Taamneh and the Law & Economics of Intermediary Liability

Brussels Effect or Brussels Defect: Digital Regulation in Emerging Markets

The blistering pace at which the European Union put forward and adopted the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has attracted the attention of legislators across the globe. In its wake, countries such as South Africa, India, Brazil, and Turkey have all contemplated digital-market regulations inspired by the DMA (and other models of regulation, such as the ... Brussels Effect or Brussels Defect: Digital Regulation in Emerging Markets

AG Paxton’s Google Suit Makes the Perfect the Enemy of the Good

Having just comfortably secured re-election to a third term, embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is likely to want to change the subject from investigations of his own conduct to a topic where he feels on much firmer ground: the 16-state lawsuit he currently leads accusing Google of monopolizing a segment of the digital advertising ... AG Paxton’s Google Suit Makes the Perfect the Enemy of the Good

The Catch-22 of AICOA’s Guidelines

If S.2992—the American Innovation and Choice Online Act or AICOA—were to become law, it would be, at the very least, an incomplete law. By design—and not for good reason, but for political expediency—AICOA is riddled with intentional uncertainty. In theory, the law’s glaring definitional deficiencies are meant to be rectified by “expert” agencies (i.e., the ... The Catch-22 of AICOA’s Guidelines