Review of Michael Whinston, Lectures on Antitrust Economics (MIT Press, 2006)

Massimo Motta, Apr 19, 2007

Michael Whinston is one of the economists who have contributed most to the understanding of antitrust issues. His works, alone or with co-authors (especially Douglas Bernheim and Ilya Segal), have shed light on such issues as exclusive contracts, tying, and multi-market collusion among others. For this reason, the publication of his book Lectures on Antitrust Economics is an event many people have looked forward to. They will not be disappointed. The book is not intended to be comprehensive, as it limits itself to three particular topics, namely price-fixing, horizontal mergers, and exclusionary vertical contracts. However, the insights given, the new perspectives offered when surveying both theoretical and empirical work, and the depth with which the arguments chosen are treated, make the book well worth its price and the time devoted to read it. Apart from economists who have a research interest in antitrust issues, the main audience for the book should be graduate students who have already a background in industrial organization. (The book takes for granted that the reader knows the basics of industrial economics and, to a lesser extent, of antitrust law: there is a brief introduction on U.S. law.) Indeed, the treatment is at too high-level for undergraduate students and for lawyers.

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