Identifying, Challenging, and Assigning Political Responsibility for State Regulation Restricting Competition

Maureen Ohlhausen, Nov 01, 2006

This paper examines the role of competition advocacy in combating anticompetitive state regulation. Looking at the constraints facing competition officials such as the state action doctrine, the analysis suggests potential avenues for surmounting these constraints. Relying on experience as the Director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, the author uses real-world examples—real estate brokerage and interstate direct shipment of wine—to demonstrate the ability of a competition agency to use a variety of techniques to improve consumer welfare when enforcement is circumscribed due to state activity.

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