Manipulation of Product Ratings: Credit-Rating Agencies, Google, and Antitrust
Mark Patterson, Apr 17, 2012
The important competitive role played by information providers like credit-rating agencies is not matched by a well-developed competition analysis for the informational problems they pose. To be sure, competition law has developed approaches to some informational issues, such as collective suppression of information and misleading statements directed at competing products. But it has not focused on allegations of anticompetitive manipulation of information by firms whose business is the provision of product ratings. This essay suggests that a requirement imposed on credit-rating agencies in the recent Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation is also well-suited to address competition issues.