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Showing archive for:  “Antitrust”

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?

AI Partnerships and Competition: Much Ado About Nothing?

Competition policymakers around the world have been expressing concerns about competition in emerging artificial-intelligence (AI) industries, with some taking steps to investigate them further. These fears are notably fueled by a sense that incumbent (albeit, in adjacent markets) digital platforms may use strategic partnerships with AI firms to stave off competition from this fast-growing field. ... AI Partnerships and Competition: Much Ado About Nothing?

How Should We Measure Competition?

Competition is the driving force behind the success of markets. It’s hard to imagine a thriving market economy without the presence of competitive forces. But how do we actually measure competition? I use the term all the time, but do we actually have a measure of it? This question is more complex than it may ... How Should We Measure Competition?

What We Know About the Rise in Markups

In my research and newsletters, I’ve written about how to interpret markups—mostly on the theory side. I haven’t devoted much space explaining the empirics. How high are markups in the United States? Are they rising? If so, by how much? This post seeks to answer those questions. I’m writing it after reading a new paper ... What We Know About the Rise in Markups

The Silly Season in Antitrust: The Hermès Case

For six generations, Hermès has epitomized French luxury, making and selling its iconic scarves, belts, jewelry, and, of course, handbags. Some Hermès products, including its Birkin and Kelly bags, are so exclusive that they can’t be bought off the shelf. Customers first have to establish a relationship with the house to purchase these specialty bags. ... The Silly Season in Antitrust: The Hermès Case

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends: More Regulatory Overreach by the FTC

Go big or go home, they say. It’s not really an either-or choice: one can go big, and then go home. Not infrequently, an attempt to go big is what gets one sent home.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) swung for the fences in April 23’s open meeting. On purely partisan lines, the commission voted ... Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends: More Regulatory Overreach by the FTC

Steeling to Block a Merger

In an April 17 address to United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, President Joe Biden vowed that his administration would “thwart the acquisition of U.S. Steel by a Japanese company,” Nippon Steel, telling the assembled union members that U.S. Steel “has been an iconic American company for more than a century and it should remain totally American.” ... Steeling to Block a Merger

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Spring Has Sprung

Last week was the occasion of the “spring meeting”; that is, the big annual antitrust convention in Washington, D.C. hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Section. To engage in a bit of self-plagiarism (efficient for me, at least), I had this to say about it last year: For those outside the antitrust world, ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Spring Has Sprung

DOJ’s Case Against Apple: Beware of Forcing ‘Efficiencies’

The U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) recent complaint charging Apple with monopolizing smartphone markets is, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, intended as a contribution to the agency’s “enduring legacy of taking on the biggest and toughest monopolies in history.”  Unfortunately, the case has fundamental weaknesses in its assessment of both Apple’s alleged monopoly ... DOJ’s Case Against Apple: Beware of Forcing ‘Efficiencies’

Confronting the DMA’s Shaky Suppositions

It’s easy for politicians to make unrealistic promises. Indeed, without a healthy skepticism on the part of the public, they can grow like weeds. In the world of digital policy, the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) has proven fertile ground for just such promises. We’ve been told that large digital platforms are the source ... Confronting the DMA’s Shaky Suppositions

The Missing Element in the Google Case

Through laudable competition on the merits, Google achieved a usage share of nearly 90% in “general search services.” About a decade later, the government alleged that Google had maintained its dominant share through exclusionary practices violating Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case was tried in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. last ... The Missing Element in the Google Case

Kroger/Albertsons: Is Labor Bargaining Power an Antitrust Harm?

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent complaint challenging the proposed merger of the supermarkets Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies Inc. has important implications for antitrust enforcement in labor markets. Central to the FTC’s case is how it chooses to define the relevant markets, and particularly the commission’s focus on unionized grocery workers. The complaint alleges ... Kroger/Albertsons: Is Labor Bargaining Power an Antitrust Harm?