In this issue:
Welcome to the home page of The CPI Antitrust Chronicle (formerly GCP Magazine). In this issue, we’re revisiting an old friend – Leegin. Numerous states and Congress continue to be unhappy with the Supreme Court ruling and each is trying to determine how to turn the clock back. We present both sides of the argument. We’re also following up on our October book issue where James Grimmelmann is looking at whether the revised Google amendment now being considered truly addressed the orphan issue. Finally Shanker Singham is presenting a segue into a new focus for CPI going forward, Consumer Protection, with his discussion of the difference between consumer protection and consumer welfare. Enjoy!
This flurry of legislative activity raises the question: Can a state overturn Leegin consistent with the United States Constitution? The answer to that question is no, at least to the extent the state regulates conduct that is wholly outside its borders.
Several states legislatures are trying to roll back the clock and restore the per se illegality of RPM. This, we argue, is a mistake based on faulty economic reasoning.
The debate over RPM has persisted for decades among antitrust practitioners, economists, and business people. So, a Supreme Court ruling could hardly be expected simply to end the matter. And it has not.
Are there genuine policy concerns about RPM that would justify, say, a diversion of even a fraction of the efforts needed to monitor and prevent potential bid rigging among local service providers?
Of Current Interest
Google, on the other hand, will be authorized to sell online copies of these books. That’s exclusivity: permission to do what is forbidden to others.
This paper recommends that competition agencies should approach any competition issue with an eye toward consumer welfare in order to improve the market outcomes of competition decisions.