By Herbert Hovenkamp –
Why should we use antitrust law as a wealth distribution device when far more explicit statutory tools are available for that purpose? One feature of antitrust is its open-textured, nonspecific statutes, so using antitrust to redistribute wealth may be a way of invoking the judicial process without having to go to Congress or a state legislature. The most defensible goal for the antitrust laws is prohibition of practices that serve to reduce output anticompetitively, which is simply a statement of the consumer welfare principle. Accepting that competitive markets are conducive to greater wealth equality, hasn’t antitrust already done all it can do?