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)

GameStop, the Cantillon Effect, and America’s Corrupt Financial Plumbing

The GameStop frenzy, far from a morality tale of the people showing up Wall Street elites, should show that something is seriously...

Big Tech’s Fight Over Privacy: Could Facebook Win an Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple?

Do the new iOS 14 privacy features violate antitrust laws? If Facebook brings an antitrust suit against Apple, as it is reportedly...

Is There a Problem with Competition?

A Stigler Center webinar explores instances where competition turns toxic, whether antitrust policy needs reform, and potential paths forward.

Taming Big Tech: What Can We Expect From Germany’s New Antitrust Tool?

Targeted at Big Tech, Germany’s new antitrust tool for dealing with large digital platforms rebalances the power between the competition watchdog and...

What Is the Price of a Prescription Drug?

Due to lack of transparency and mystery rebates, which are considered trade secrets, figuring out the price of a prescription drug is...

Reviewing Facebook’s Mergers Could Have Negative Ripple Effects

How the pre-merger notification regime came about and why we should be careful about discouraging useful mergers.

Giving Away Our Data for Free is a Market Failure

By convincing users to give away their data for free, digital platforms have caused a market failure. This failure benefits them and...

Should Antitrust Promote Political Liberty? A Stigler Center Webinar Features Fukuyama, McCarty, Teachout, and Nylen

A Stigler Center panel explores the challenges of designing an antitrust enforcement regime that could contend with the political power of corporate...

The Antitrust Cases Against Facebook And Google: In Search of a Smoking Gun

In the Microsoft antitrust case, Bill Gates’ emails were perhaps the government’s most compelling evidence. Now, as regulators pursue antitrust cases against Facebook...

False News Has a Long History—But Those In Power Failed To Heed It

In his book The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth, Samuel Woolley explores how governments failed...

Latest news

Do Companies Invest In Corporate Social Responsibility At the Expense of Their Employees?

The past decade has seen companies increasing investments in initiatives of corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as donating a share of profits...

Millennials and Gen Z Are Willing to Accept Lower Wages to Work in More Sustainable Firms

Firms in more environmentally friendly sectors are better able to attract and retain talent and at lower wages. Millennials and Gen Z,...

Fahmi Quadir: “Short Sellers are Always an Easy Boogeyman”

In an interview with ProMarket, short-seller Fahmi Quadir, who has shorted companies like Wirecard and Valeant, discussed the public perception of short-sellers...

How the FTC Protected the Market Power of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) were established in the 1960s to control drug costs but have since morphed into one of the most...

Recovering from Kleptocracy: A 10-Step Program

In his book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, Larry Diamond highlights 10 steps to close existing loopholes...

How Corporate Purpose Affects Firms

A company’s purpose is a core aspect of the organization: it influences the financial performance of company, and relates to its ownership...

Market Power and Money in Politics

A Stigler Center webinar explores how businesses lobby and compete for political power and whether mergers and industry concentration affect lobbying.