Showing archive for: “Antitrust Populism”
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
In this post—the last planned post for this symposium on The FTC’s New Normal (though we will continue to accept unsolicited submissions of responses)—I will offer some summary of the ideas that have been shared here over the past month, before turning to some of my own thoughts. To keep your attention rapt, I will ... I, For One, Welcome Our New FTC Overlords
FTC’s Amazon Complaint: Perhaps the Greatest Affront to Consumer and Producer Welfare in Antitrust History
“Seldom in the history of U.S. antitrust law has one case had the potential to do so much good [HARM] for so many people.” – Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman, quoted in a Sept. 26 press release announcing the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon (correction IN ALL CAPS is mine) ... FTC’s Amazon Complaint: Perhaps the Greatest Affront to Consumer and Producer Welfare in Antitrust History
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
Competition policy at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will naturally ebb and flow, depending on its leadership. Over the years, some commissions have taken a more aggressive approach, while others have granted greater credibility to market forces. Still, regardless of the party in power, the agency was generally able to maintain a solid reputation as ... Regulatory Humility or Regulatory Hubris at the Federal Trade Commission?
Part 1 of this piece can be found here. Emergence of the ‘Neo-Brandeisians’ Thus, matters unfolded until the curtain began to descend on the second Obama term in 2016. In the midst of presidential primary season, a targeted political challenge to the prevailing economic approach to antitrust first came to light. No one has yet ... The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 2
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager announced Sept. 5 that she was leaving her position after nearly a decade in charge, which for the last four years has also included holding the title of “executive vice president of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age.” Her departure caps off an uncharacteristically ... Goodbye Margrethe, Hello Didier: What Next for European Competition Law?
Labor Day approaches with most of us looking forward to a long weekend off, but there’s much in competition world looming on the horizon. As I am looking forward to a couple of days off, I’ll offer more of an annotated bibliography than analysis. But also a bit of discussion, because I am what I ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Back to the Past Edition
Consistent with the neo-Brandeisian penchant for downplaying (some would say ignoring) consumer-welfare concerns, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently touted its interest in “reinvigorating” enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act (RPA). This would stand sensible antitrust-enforcement policy on its head, by devoting resources to actions that predictably would tend to diminish consumer welfare. In the hope ... The Robinson-Patman Act: The Anti-Consumer Welfare Statute
At the Jan. 26 Policy in Transition forum—the Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s second annual antitrust forum—various former and current antitrust practitioners, scholars, judges, and agency officials held forth on the near-term prospects for the neo-Brandeisian experiment undertaken in recent years by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ). ... 7 Top Takeaways from the 2nd Annual Mercatus Antitrust Forum
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recently released Policy Statement on unfair methods of competition (UMC) has a number of profound problems, which I will detail below. But first, some praise: if the FTC does indeed plan to bring many lawsuits challenging conduct as a standalone UMC (I am dubious it will), then the public ought ... The FTC’s UMC Statement Creates a Target for Federal Courts
Recently departed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Noah Phillips has been rightly praised as “a powerful voice during his four-year tenure at the FTC, advocating for rational antitrust enforcement and against populist antitrust that derails the fair yet disruptive process of competition.” The FTC will miss his trenchant analysis and collegiality, now that he has ... Noah Phillips’ Major Contribution to IP-Antitrust Law: The <em>1-800 Contacts</em> Case