A Short History of the DOJ Section 2 Report

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Michael Salinger, Jul 13, 2009

Now that the Antitrust Division has withdrawn the Section 2 report, there is an opportunity for the two agencies to issue a joint report. I hope they will do so. Agreement between the U.S. agencies is essential for the United States to be able to lead within the international communities of antitrust enforcers; and it is important to avoid the perception in the business community that the threat of an antitrust challenge hinges on a coin flip as to which agency considers their case. The question then becomes how big a change is needed to make the document acceptable to the new U.S. antitrust leadership. I predict there will be a major rewrite so that the report appears much different. As for the substance, however, they will promote neither the interests of consumers nor competition if they ignore the very real possibility that Section 2 enforcement can punish companies for competing successfully. The article is an adaption of a posting originally presented in a Section 2 Symposium on the blog site, Truth on the Market, available online at TruthOnTheMarket.

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