Below, we have provided the full transcript of the interview with Prof. Spencer Weber Waller, Professor and Director of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago, recorded on August 27, 2021.
This interview was done as part of the Antitrust Brainstorming Board created by CPI with the support of the CCIA.
Thank you, Prof. Waller, for sharing your time for this interview with CPI.
A video of the complete interview is available HERE.
Do you think the current antitrust framework works for consumers?
Spencer Weber WALLER:
The short answer is it’s not working for consumers, the so-called consumer welfare framework has never been about the actual interests of consumers. It’s been about essentially wealth maximization. And the big lie of the last 40 years has been that we’re trying to serve the needs of consumers in any normal sense of the word. I think change is coming. I think more change is needed. Just to give you some perspective, our institute was founded to really push for the views and voices of actual consumers and the ongoing debate for both antitrust and consumer protection. We’re the only academic based Institute in the United States that does that. We don’t take positions on cases. We certainly take positions on issues.
I’m speaking on my own behalf and not on behalf of the university here, but there’s a lot of changes I’d like to see. One of them, and I’m happy to go into as much detail as you wish, one of them is I think the United States…