Last updated on Jul 29, 2022
It increasingly appears that the push to pass Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) will go down to the wire, with a vote potentially taking place sometime before Congress leaves for its August recess.
Given the uncertainty surrounding this massive legislative project, this Truth on the Market symposium examines the possible future(s) of digital competition in ways somewhat different from those we usually publish.
Contributors were asked to write short pieces about what they think the world might look like—for better and/or worse—under regulations such as AICOA and the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (as well as other regulations that might prohibit self-preferencing or mandate interoperability), or the implications of a future world where such regulations are absent, and where antitrust laws have been relaxed.
Some of the pieces are traditional, scholarly blog posts; others have chosen different literary genres to explore this imagined future, such as short stories, parables, sci-fi inspired pieces—even poems or song lyrics.
The symposium pieces will be posted over the course of the next few days.
In This Symposium
AICOA Is Neither Urgently Needed Nor Good: A Response to Professors Scott Morton, Salop, and Dinielli
Earlier this month, Professors Fiona Scott Morton, Steve Salop, and David Dinielli penned a letter expressing their “strong support” for the proposed American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). In the letter, the professors address criticisms of AICOA and urge its approval, despite possible imperfections. “Perhaps this bill could be made better if we lived in ... AICOA Is Neither Urgently Needed Nor Good: A Response to Professors Scott Morton, Salop, and Dinielli
Jouko Hiltunen gazed out the window into the midday twilight. Eight stories down, across the plaza and promenade, the Helsinki harbor was already blanketed under a dusting of snow. By Christmas, the ice would be thick enough for walking out to the castle at Suomenlinna. Jouko turned back to his computer screen. His fingers found ... Winter in Helsinki
Much ink has been spilled regarding the potential harm to the economy and to the rule of law that could stem from enactment of the primary federal antitrust legislative proposal, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) (see here). AICOA proponents, of course, would beg to differ, emphasizing the purported procompetitive benefits of limiting ... The Bitter Fruits of Federal Antitrust ‘Reform’ Legislation
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
July 26, 10 A.F. (after fairness) Dear Fellow Inquisitors, It has been more than a decade now since the Federal Neutrality Commission, born of the ashes of the old world, ushered in the Age of Fairness. As you all know, the FNC was created during the Online Era, when the emergence of the largest companies ... New Frontiers of Fairness: Auto Da Fé by the Grand Inquisitor of Economics
Antitrust populists like Biden White House official Tim Wu and author Matt Stoller decry the political influence of large firms. But instead of advocating for policies that tackle this political influence directly, they seek reforms to antitrust enforcement that aim to limit the economic advantages of these firms, believing that will translate into political enfeeblement. ... Antitrust Populists Don’t Seem to Care About the Poor
About earth’s creatures great and small,Devices clever as can be,I see foremost a ruthless power;You, their ingenuity. You see the beak upon the finch;I, the beaked skeleton.You see the wonders that they are;I, the things that might have been. You see th’included batteriesI, the poor excluded ones.You, the phone that simply works;I, restrain’d competition. ’Twould ... Verses on Self-Preferencing
May 2007, Palo Alto The California sun shone warmly on Eric Schmidt’s face as he stepped out of his car and made his way to have dinner at Madera, a chic Palo Alto restaurant. Dining out was a welcome distraction from the endless succession of strategy meetings with the nitpickers of the law department, which ... The Woman in the High Office
Early Morning I wake up grudgingly to the loud ring of my phone’s preset alarm sound (I swear I gave third-party alarms a fair shot). I slide my feet into the bedroom slippers and mechanically chaperone my body to the coffee machine in the living room. “Great,” I think to myself, “Out of capsules, again.” ... A Day in the Fair New World of Perfectly Open Platforms
In Free to Choose, Milton Friedman famously noted that there are four ways to spend money: Spending your own money on yourself. For example, buying groceries or lunch. There is a strong incentive to economize and to get full value. Spending your own money on someone else. For example, buying a gift for another. There ... The Four Ways of Spending Data
Brrring! “Gee, this iPhone alarm is the worst—I should really change that sometime. Let’s see what’s in my calendar for today…” In accordance with new regulatory requirements, Apple is providing you with a choice of app stores. Please select an option from the menu below. Going forward, iOS applications will download via the selected store ... Waking up to Platform Regulation
Things are heating up in the antitrust world. There is considerable pressure to pass the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) before the congressional recess in August—a short legislative window before members of Congress shift their focus almost entirely to campaigning for the mid-term elections. While it would not be impossible to advance the ... The Road to Antitrust’s Least Glorious Hour