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)

A New Antitrust Under Biden? Lessons From the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

The early history of the Sherman Antitrust Act offers relevant insights to contemporary debates on how to best enforce antitrust laws. In...

“This Isn’t the Kind of Journalism That Serves Democracy Best”: How Place and Privilege Came to Define American News

In an interview with ProMarket, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Nikki Usher discusses how news in the US came to be...

The Incoming Currency War

Four powerful forces—cryptocurrencies, the decoupling of geographical and monetary boundaries, ad-based digital platforms’ foray into the world of payments, and the value...

Should Google Still be Allowed to Crown the Kings in Digital Markets?

Google search is continuously evolving into a full service provider, directly selecting and presenting the information that we are looking for. At...

How and Why Baseball’s Legal Monopoly Came to Be

Baseball’s antitrust exemption, currently the subject of fierce political backlash, has long been a historical curiosity. Why has a professional sports league...

What does NCAA v. Alston Tell Us About Antitrust and Labor Markets?

The Supreme Court's recent ruling against the NCAA and in favor of student-athletes may seem narrow or trivial, but the Court's acknowledgement...

Why the FTC Antitrust Case Against Facebook Was Dismissed

Many of the problems with the FTC complaint against Facebook that was dismissed in court last month appear to be fixable. However,...

Charting a Path Forward for College Athletes to Receive Pay

How should colleges pay their student-athletes? A likely model lies with another group of university students, who like near-pro athletes receive tuition...

George Stigler’s Errors and Their Virtues

George Stigler might have been wrong in his essay on economic regulation, but his influence is undeniable. The unity of purpose in...

American History Provides a Valuable Lesson on How Monopolists Use Exclusive Deals to Fortify Their Market Power

Since the Civil War, dominant firms have widely and repeatedly used exclusive agreements to exert, expand, and fortify their market power. History...

Latest news

Beefing Up Merger Enforcement by Banning Merger Remedies

The unraveling of the T-Mobile/Sprint remedy continues a trend of failed merger consent decrees. One solution, proposed by two antitrust scholars, is...

Reaching for Influence: Do Banks Use Loans to Establish Political Connections?

A new study examines whether privately-owned banks seek political influence by offering preferred loan terms to corporate borrowers with valuable political connections,...

The New Challenges of Assessing Big Tech’s Impact

Big Tech firms are facing the biggest wave of antitrust legislation in their history. Academic literature reveals the complexity of possible consequences...

The Metaphysics of Regulatory Capture

Stiglerian capture and corrosive cultural capture, its left-leaning parallel, are ostensibly symbionts, two attempts at identifying impediments to keeping markets competitive by...

The Aristocracy of Talent: Business Intelligence

In the following excerpt from his new book, The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, Adrian Wooldridge traces "how universities...

Why Privacy Experts Need a Place at the Antitrust Table

Antitrust enforcers have tended to stay narrowly “in their lane,” failing to engage with how data is collected and used by digital...

Assessing George Stigler’s Economic Theory of Regulation

Despite its flaws and limitations, Stigler’s seminal article on the theory of economic regulation remains an important piece of scholarship worthy of...