Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think

The Last Word

“In the last few weeks, the [FTC] has repeatedly changed policy direction without giving the public any real notice or right to be heard.” —Noah Phillips, FTC Commissioner Previously in this series: “Academics and Europeans: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part XIV” I intended to end this series of posts with part 14, …

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Academics and Europeans…

I ended last week’s post by mentioning that Francis Fukuyama has proposed a novel way to control Big Tech, using so-called “middleware” companies to break the FAANGs’ control over Internet content. Previously in this series: “A Different Take on Big Tech: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part XIII” As I understand what Fukuyama …

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A Different Take on Big Tech

We are evaluating a variety of complaints about Big Tech to see whether our ramshackle antitrust laws represent an appropriate remedy. So far, we’ve learned that antitrust action is a clumsy approach at best. But let’s look at one more major complaint against Big Tech. Previously in this series: “The Ridiculous Instagram Case: Antitrust Is …

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The Ridiculous Instagram Case

As I noted last week, virtually everywhere we go and everything we do is subject to surveillance by government and private citizens. And the person they are looking at is actually us, not some random number linked to our computers. Previously in this series: “The Coming Missteps on Big Tech: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than …

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The Coming Missteps on Big Tech

If we thought that too many antitrust laws and enforcements were ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst, matters are about to become even more dreadful: Most of the proposed enforcements will harm consumers without much denting the power of Big Tech. Previously in this series: “How to Handle the FAANGs: Antitrust Is More Interesting …

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How to Handle the FAANGs

“Consumers won’t thank antitrust enforcers for repeating the mistakes of the past.” —Jessica Melugin, Competitive Enterprise Institute Previously in this series: “Laissez-Faire vs. the Progressives: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part IX” The so-called Chicago School approach to antitrust enforcement has many fathers and they rarely agree on much. In addition, the school …

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Laissez-Faire vs. the Progressives

From the date of enactment of the first antitrust laws during the Roman Republic right up to the present moment, there have really been only three theories that have addressed the proper role of a government in controlling anticompetitive behavior. Previously in this series: “Government Missteps: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part VIII” …

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Government Missteps: Let Me Count the Ways

By the mid-twentieth century, antitrust enforcement in the United States had become far more sophisticated than it had been for the first six decades after the Sherman Act was passed in 1890. Unfortunately, the ratio of success-to-fiasco remained roughly constant. Previously in this series: “The Weird Inconsistencies of Trust Busting: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than …

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The Weird Inconsistencies of Trust Busting

Last week, I suggested that the enforcement of America’s antitrust laws has made little sense since the Sherman Act was adopted in 1890. In fact, the word that comes to mind is “fiasco.” Previously in this series: “Making Monopoly Illegal: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part VI” I mentioned earlier in this series …

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Making Monopoly Illegal

When people who don’t like free markets (i.e., almost everybody in academia) talk about antitrust law, they almost always begin by saying something like this: “One of the core defects of market economies is the inevitability of monopolistic practices.” Previously in this series: “The Tricks of the Trade: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, …

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The Tricks of the Trade

The plaintiff’s law firm wanted to impress their client with how important the case was to them, and so there were never fewer than five lawyers at the plaintiff’s table. Plus, of course, the plaintiff himself. Previously in this series: “Fighting the ‘Big’ New York Law Firm: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part …

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Fighting the “Big” New York Law Firm

Here are more vignettes to show you what it was like to try a case — a big case — with Mr. W, the senior Reed Smith partner who looked terrific but whose elevator didn’t seem to go all the way to the top floor. After that I’ll return to my original topic: “Antitrust Is …

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How Was I Supposed to Know?

Mr. W was mostly trying other cases during the week, so we prepared for Big Steel v. Bigger Steel on weekends. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I would stroll into the Reed Smith conference room at precisely 9 a.m., and every Saturday and Sunday morning, Mr. W would look up at me and say, “Dear …

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Me and Mr. W

After I posted last week’s blog, a large number of people wrote in to ask how the private antitrust case turned out: Did I actually get eaten by rats? Did the case go to trial or settle? Did we win or lose? Previously in this series: “Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think” Your Humble …

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Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think

When I was a 3L, that is, a third-year law student, I — like every other 3L — spent half my time studying dismal areas of the law and half my time interviewing with law firms for permanent legal jobs. One of the firms I was interested in was Cravath, Swain & Moore. (Cravath, by …

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