The Archives

The collection of all scholarly commentary on law, economics, and more

Showing archive for:  “Monopolization”

Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

The European Commission told Amazon in November 2023 of its preliminary view that the company’s proposed acquisition of iRobot restricted competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners (RVCs) and could hamper rival RVC suppliers’ ability to compete effectively. The deal, the Commission asserted, would give Amazon incentive to foreclose iRobot’s competitors by engaging in ... Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

How the FTC’s Amazon Case Gerrymanders Relevant Markets and Obscures Competitive Processes

As Greg Werden has noted, the process of defining the relevant market in an antitrust case doesn’t just finger which part of the economy is allegedly affected by the challenged conduct, but it also “identifies the competitive process alleged to be harmed.” Unsurprisingly, plaintiffs in such proceedings (most commonly, antitrust enforcers) often seek to set ... How the FTC’s Amazon Case Gerrymanders Relevant Markets and Obscures Competitive Processes

Hands Across the Agencies

In the headline to a Dec. 7 press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it, in concert with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), had managed to “Lower Health Care and Drug Costs, Promote Competition to Benefit Patients, Health Care Workers.” According to the subhead: ... Hands Across the Agencies

Google, Amazon, Switching Costs, and Red Herrings

Way back in May, I cracked wise about the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) fictional “Bureau of Let’s Sue Meta,” noting that the commission’s proposal (really, an “order to show cause”) to modify its 2020 settlement of a consumer-protection matter with what had then been Facebook—in other words, a settlement modifying a 2012 settlement—was the FTC’s ... Google, Amazon, Switching Costs, and Red Herrings

Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

The European Commission late last month published the full list of its “gatekeeper” designations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft—the six designated gatekeepers—now have six months to comply with the DMA’s list of obligations and restrictions with respect to their core platform services (CPS), or they stand to ... Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

Latin America Should Follow Its Own Path on Digital-Markets Competition

In order to promote competition in digital markets,[1] Latin American countries should not copy and paste “solutions” from other jurisdictions, but rather design their own set of policies. In short, Latin American countries—like my own, Peru—should not “put the cart before the horse” and regulate markets that are not yet mature. Digital or “tech” markets ... Latin America Should Follow Its Own Path on Digital-Markets Competition

Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

One of the most important changes in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) draft merger guidelines is the abandonment of market power as the central element of merger enforcement. The “unifying theme” of the 2010 horizontal merger guidelines was that “mergers should not be permitted to create, enhance, or entrench market ... Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

Net Neutrality II: Electric Boogaloo—Rate Regulation Hiding in Plain Sight

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel on Tuesday announced the agency’s proposal to regulate internet services under Title II of the Communications Act. Commonly referred to as “net neutrality,” the chair plans to release proposed rules today, with a vote scheduled for Oct. 19 to begin the rulemaking process. Rosenworcel’s speech identified several areas ... Net Neutrality II: Electric Boogaloo—Rate Regulation Hiding in Plain Sight

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Take My Default … Please! Edition

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve read that a famous old bit by Henny Youngman has been purged from Florida textbooks, apparently because it was deemed offensive to those who wrote, told, and laughed at the joke. I won’t tell it here, but you can look it up. And if you’re a reader of ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Take My Default … Please! Edition

The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 2

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

The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 1

The Evolution of FTC Antitrust Enforcement – Highlights of Its Origins and Major Trends 1910-1914 – Creation and Launch The election of 1912, which led to the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), occurred at the apex of the Progressive Era. Since antebellum times, Grover Cleveland had been the only Democrat elected as president. ... The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 1

Are Markups Really SO Bad?

Concentration is a terrible measure of [insert basically anything people actually care about]. Have I said that before? Concentration tells us nothing about market power, efficiency, or whether policy changes can do anything to increase welfare. Economists know that, especially industrial organization (IO) economists. If we want to measure market power for a seller, a better measure is ... Are Markups Really SO Bad?