Antitrust and Competition

Corporate Governance

The system of formal and informal rules by which a company is governed. Corporate governance shapes more than just a given's company value - it dictates who controls the capital in the economy and so how this capital is being put the use. Corporate governance therefore affects and is affected by the degree of cronyism and rent-seeking in society.

Media

Effective media scrutiny can help mitigate many of the problems that lead to regulatory capture, by helping the polity to become informed and mobilized. But what are the conditions that create effective media scrutiny? And why do we observe so little of it in reality? “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Regulatory Capture

When regulation protects narrow interests – usually the interests of the incumbent industry – at the expense of the public interest. Capture occurs in various ways: from straightforward bribes and threats, to more implicit quid pro quos such as the lucrative future employment (revolving door), to softer forms of cognitive/cultural capture. “... as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” George Stigler - The Theory of Economic Regulation (1971)

Special interest groups

Special interest groups: Groups with preferences that differ from the preferences of the median voter. There is nothing wrong with special interests forming groups per se; the trouble starts when they disproportionally sway policy in their favor. “...the great enemy of democracy is monopoly, in all its forms: gigantic corporations, trade associations and other agencies for price control, trade-union… Effectively organized functional groups possess tremendous power for exploiting the community at large and even sabotaging the system.” Henry Calvert Simons - A Positive Program for Laissez Faire (1934)

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What Stakeholder Capitalism Can Learn From Jensen and Meckling

Jensen and Meckling’s 1976 article is an academic classic, but heavily criticized by stakeholder capitalists for arguing that corporate structures should be...

Eliminating Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption Won’t End the Georgia Political Boycott

There are good arguments for getting rid of baseball's long-standing exemption from antitrust laws, but the reason cited by Republican Senators angry...

Europe Lacks a Vision for How Apple’s App Store Fees Should Work

The European Commission believes that Apple is violating European competition laws and raising prices for consumers in how it operates its App...

Lobbying for Globalization: How the Winners Dominate the Politics of Trade Agreements

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The Biggest Problem Facing America: Misinformation-At-Scale

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George Stigler’s Paper on Regulation and the Rise of Political Economy

George Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” is not just the founding paper of economics of regulation. It is also a founding...

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Facebook can be a monopolist over a cluster of noncompeting products that do not fit the standard economic definition of a “market.”...

Of Antitrust and Patents: the Quiet Return of the Status Quo at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division

Without Senate-confirmed political leadership, the Department of Justice quietly reverts to an Obama-era policy that favors Big Tech.

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