After Consumer Welfare, Now What? The “Protection Of Competition” Standard In Practice

After Consumer Welfare, Now What? The “Protection Of Competition” Standard In Practice

By Tim Wu –  Given a country founded on principles of anti-monopoly and the decentralization of power, an antitrust revival in the United States may have been inevitable. Some in the current revival have targeted the “consumer welfare” standard, but would that make the antitrust law too indeterminate? I argue that the leading alternative, “protection […]

Hipster Antitrust Meets Public Choice Economics: The Consumer Welfare Standard, Rule Of Law, And Rent-Seeking

Hipster Antitrust Meets Public Choice Economics: The Consumer Welfare Standard, Rule Of Law, And Rent-Seeking

By Elyse Dorsey, Jan M. Rybnicek & Joshua D. Wright –  Hipster Antitrust calls for the rejection of the consumer welfare standard as the lodestar of antitrust law in favor of a vague “public interest” test that requires courts and agencies to consider a variety of social and political goals. In short, Hipster Antitrust seeks […]

Who Should Trust-Bust? Hippocrates, Not Hipsters

Who Should Trust-Bust? Hippocrates, Not Hipsters

By Philip Marsden –  The Hipster Antitrust movement asks competition authorities to “Move Fast and Break Things.” Hipsters want direct intervention – breaking up bigness, diluting concentration and capping prices – to aid small business, consumer choice and fairness. These interventions would condemn the innocent, distort dynamic markets and reduce consumer incentives to engage actively. […]

Hipster Antitrust – A Brief Fling Or Something More?

Hipster Antitrust – A Brief Fling Or Something More?

By Konstantin Medvedovsky –  Hipster Antitrust is the latest of the challenges to the consumer welfare standard that has been dominant in the United States since the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, unlike prior attacks on the consumer welfare standard, it comes at a time when concerns about economic concentration and income equality are […]

Ignoring Two-Sided Business Reality Can Also Hurt Plaintiffs

Ignoring Two-Sided Business Reality Can Also Hurt Plaintiffs

By David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee – Platform businesses enable distinct types of customers to interact more readily and realize gains from interacting. The basic economics of such businesses is now well-established, and U.S. courts have long sought to anchor antitrust decisions in business realities and to employ sound economics. Nonetheless, some observers have […]

Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(h)ine?

Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(h)ine?

By Christopher S. Yoo –  Although the debate over hipster antitrust is often portrayed as something new, experienced observers recognize it as a replay of an old argument that was resolved by the global consensus that antitrust should focus on consumer welfare rather than on the size of firms, the levels of industry concentration, and […]

Woodstock Antitrust

Woodstock Antitrust

By Harry First –  Before there was Hipster antitrust there was Woodstock antitrust. Flourishing in the decade from 1969 to 1979, Woodstock antitrust sought to take on the central issues in antitrust. Looking back we can see a program of enforcement and proposed legislation that constituted a radical effort to fix antitrust’s shortcomings — the […]

Four Questions For The Neo-Brandeisians

Four Questions For The Neo-Brandeisians

By Daniel A. Crane –  The “Neo-Brandeisian” school is challenging the prevailing consensus that antitrust law should primarily seek to advance consumer welfare. This brief essay poses four critical questions to the Neo-Brandeisians: (1) why throw out the baby with the bath water; (2) is the problem bigness or market power; (3) what principle should […]