Who Should Trust-Bust? Hippocrates, Not Hipsters

The Hipster Antitrust movement asks competition authorities to “Move Fast and Break Things.” Hipsters want direct intervention – breaking up bigness, diluting concentration and capping prices – to aid small business, consumer choice and fairness. These interventions would condemn the innocent, distort dynamic markets and reduce consumer incentives to engage actively. To ensure hipsters do no harm, authorities should engage by increasing their evidence base regarding, for example, trust in online markets and consumer vulnerability. Authorities should hold the line however and never let non-evidenced claims influence antitrust law enforcement itself. Shooting from the hip rarely results in a well-targeted remedy.