The Archives

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

Antitrust Dystopia and Antitrust Nostalgia

The dystopian novel is a powerful literary genre. It has given us such masterpieces as Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. Though these novels often shed light on the risks of contemporary society and the zeitgeist of the era in which they were written, they also almost always systematically overshoot the mark (intentionally ... Antitrust Dystopia and Antitrust Nostalgia

Technology Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control

In recent years, a growing chorus of voices has argued that existing merger rules fail to apprehend competitively significant mergers, either because they fall below existing merger-filing thresholds or because they affect innovation in ways that are purportedly ignored. These fears are particularly acute in the pharmaceutical and tech industries, where several high-profile academic articles ... Technology Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control

How US and EU Competition Law Differ

U.S. and European competition laws diverge in numerous ways that have important real-world effects. Understanding these differences is vital, particularly as lawmakers in the United States, and the rest of the world, consider adopting a more “European” approach to competition. In broad terms, the European approach is more centralized and political. The European Commission’s Directorate ... How US and EU Competition Law Differ

The Klobuchar Bill’s Not-So-Bright Lines for Antitrust Scrutiny

In a recent op-ed, Robert Bork Jr. laments the Biden administration’s drive to jettison the Consumer Welfare Standard that has formed nearly half a century of antitrust jurisprudence. The move can be seen in the near-revolution at the Federal Trade Commission, in the president’s executive order on competition enforcement, and in several of the major ... The Klobuchar Bill’s Not-So-Bright Lines for Antitrust Scrutiny

Build Broadband Better: Focus on Competition, Not Competitors

President Joe Biden named his post-COVID-19 agenda “Build Back Better,” but his proposals to prioritize support for government-run broadband service “with less pressure to turn profits” and to “reduce Internet prices for all Americans” will slow broadband deployment and leave taxpayers with an enormous bill. Policymakers should pay particular heed to this danger, amid news ... Build Broadband Better: Focus on Competition, Not Competitors

The FTC Did Not ‘Fumble the Future’ in Its Google Search Investigation

Politico has released a cache of confidential Federal Trade Commission (FTC) documents in connection with a series of articles on the commission’s antitrust probe into Google Search a decade ago. The headline of the first piece in the series argues the FTC “fumbled the future” by failing to follow through on staff recommendations to pursue ... The FTC Did Not ‘Fumble the Future’ in Its Google Search Investigation

Platform Self-Preferencing Can Be Good for Consumers and Even Competitors

Critics of big tech companies like Google and Amazon are increasingly focused on the supposed evils of “self-preferencing.” This refers to when digital platforms like Amazon Marketplace or Google Search, which connect competing services with potential customers or users, also offer (and sometimes prioritize) their own in-house products and services.  The objection, raised by several ... Platform Self-Preferencing Can Be Good for Consumers and Even Competitors

TOTM welcomes back Alden Abbott

I am delighted to announce that Alden Abbott has returned to TOTM as a regular blogger following his recent stint as General Counsel of the FTC. You can find his first post since his return, on the NCAA v. Alston case, here. Regular readers know Alden well, of course. Not only has he long been ... TOTM welcomes back Alden Abbott

Ajit Pai Brought the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules into the Modern Age

I’m delighted to add my comments to the chorus of voices honoring Ajit Pai’s remarkable tenure at the Federal Communications Commission. I’ve known Ajit longer than most. We were classmates in law school … let’s just say “many” years ago. Among the other symposium contributors I know of only one—fellow classmate, Tom Nachbar—who can make ... Ajit Pai Brought the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules into the Modern Age

COVID-19 Vaccines Show the Patent System Works

With the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna joining the one from Pfizer and BioNTech in gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it should be time to celebrate the U.S. system of pharmaceutical development. The system’s incentives—notably granting patent rights to firms that invest in new and novel discoveries—have worked to an astonishing ... COVID-19 Vaccines Show the Patent System Works

Building the Digital Future: Can the EU Foster a Dynamic and Crime-Free Internet?

The European Commission has unveiled draft legislation (the Digital Services Act, or “DSA”) that would overhaul the rules governing the online lives of its citizens. The draft rules are something of a mixed bag. While online markets present important challenges for law enforcement, the DSA would significantly increase the cost of doing business in Europe ... Building the Digital Future: Can the EU Foster a Dynamic and Crime-Free Internet?

The Antitrust Case Against Google’s Adtech Business, Explained

This week the Senate will hold a hearing into potential anticompetitive conduct by Google in its display advertising business—the “stack” of products that it offers to advertisers seeking to place display ads on third-party websites. It is also widely reported that the Department of Justice is preparing a lawsuit against Google that will likely include ... The Antitrust Case Against Google’s Adtech Business, Explained