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Showing archive for:  “Consumer Welfare Standard”

The Waiting Game: Noncompetes, Google, Roll-Ups, and More

I’ll start with a bit of half-empty, half-full (and very partial) resolution in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publicity. Losing by Winning or Just Losing or . . . ? A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal editorial board announced that:  “Another Lina Khan Theory Loses in Court” And that was right, up to ... The Waiting Game: Noncompetes, Google, Roll-Ups, and More

Will the FTC Reinvigorate an Antiquated Law that Raises Prices?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Congress are showing renewed interest in a Great Depression-era law, the Robinson-Patman Act, that discourages sales discounts. This is bad news for hard-strapped American consumers, who have had to cope with prices that have risen more than 20% since February 2020. As such, reinvigorated enforcement of the RPA, a ... Will the FTC Reinvigorate an Antiquated Law that Raises Prices?

Should the Federal Government Regulate Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is in the public-policy spotlight. In October 2023, the Biden administration issued its Presidential Executive Order on AI, which directed federal agencies to cooperate in protecting the public from potential AI-related harms. President Joe Biden said in his March 2024 State of the Union Address that government enforcers will crack down on the ... Should the Federal Government Regulate Artificial Intelligence?

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

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

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’

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?

India Should Question Europe’s Digital-Regulation Strategy

A year after it was created by the Government of India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs to examine the need for a separate law on competition in digital markets, India’s Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL) in February both published its report recommending adoption of such rules and submitted the draft Digital Competition Act (DCA), which ... India Should Question Europe’s Digital-Regulation Strategy

The Future of the DMA: Judge Dredd or Juror 8?

When it was passed into law, the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) was heralded by supporters as a key step toward fairness and contestability in online markets. It has unfortunately become increasingly clear that reality might not live up to those expectations. Indeed, there is mounting evidence that European consumers’ online experiences have been ... The Future of the DMA: Judge Dredd or Juror 8?

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: The Supply Chain, Part Deux

But First, Money Makes the World Go ‘Round For all my carping about this or that program or enforcement matter, it seems to me a very good thing that Congress passed—and President Joe Biden signed into law—the spending package that will keep much of the federal government up and running for Fiscal Year 2024 (see ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: The Supply Chain, Part Deux

US v. Apple Lawsuit Has Big Implications for Competition and Innovation

The lawsuit filed yesterday by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) against Apple for monopolization of the U.S. smartphone market (joined by 15 states and the District of Columbia) has big implications for American competition and innovation. At the heart of the complaint is the DOJ’s assertion that: [Apple’s] anticompetitive acts include, but are not limited ... US v. Apple Lawsuit Has Big Implications for Competition and Innovation