Antitrust sits at the cusp today. That is driven at least in part by the rise of the great digital tech firms of the day and uncertainty about whether antitrust is the right tool to respond to the issues that they raise. And the fact that these firms operate at scale across the planet means that there is a shared focus for antitrust regulators across the globe. The articles in this issue will help you think through where antitrust should head next, if anywhere.
By Randal C. Picker1
As I write this, we are seven months into the global coronavirus pandemic and the feared fall second wave seems to have arrived with no obvious end in sight. China’s economy seems to be growing, but other economies are stalled or shrinking as consumers shrink back from a host of normal economic activities. And it is roughly one week before the 2020 U.S. election. There is certainly the possibility of a new President and a new Democratic majority in the Senate (it seems almost certain the Democrats will retain the House).
The House antitrust subcommittee recently released its enormous report on its sixteen-month investigation into digital marketplaces. On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, the long-awaited U.S. antitrust case against Google finally arrived. It is clearly the most significant U.S. antitrust case in the tech section since the 1998 case against Microsoft. That case, of course, would ultimately find that Microsoft had illegally maintained its operating system monopoly in its e!-->…