By Jonathan M. Barnett

Competition regulators around the world have targeted the patent enforcement and licensing practices of lead innovators in the smartphone market for over a decade. The result is a significant decline in the legal security of patent licensing arrangements that underlie the wireless communications market. Remarkably, these extensive interventions rely on theoretical assertions that are inconsistent with actual market performance. Given the paucity of supporting evidence, it appears that regulators’ actions advance the private interests of producers and distributors in lower technology input costs, at the expense of the public interest in a dynamically efficient innovation ecosystem.

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