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)

Antitrust’s Labor Market Problem

A series of academic studies in recent years highlighted the fact that labor markets are often highly concentrated and that employers use...

Facebook’s Responses to Criticism Sound Too Good to Be True

The Facebook Papers show how Facebook’s relentlessly positive and defiant PR messaging is not plausible anymore. Hence, a rebrand.

The European Union’s Big Policy Bet Against the Tech Giants

If EU policymakers are truly concerned about restoring competitiveness to digital markets, they need to adjust their expectations when it comes to...

Tech Platforms and the Antitrust Duty to Deal

Why is there a widespread view that existing American antitrust law is ill-equipped to address dominant platforms that exclude or discriminate against...

Is there a “California Effect” in Data Privacy Law? Why the EU is Not the World’s Privacy Cop

It is common lore in data privacy law and other fields that stringent regulatory standards (such as the ones introduced in the...

The Social Responsibility of Business Includes Profits

Profits these days are often seen as a dirty word, but it is wrong to demonize profits. A company’s responsibility is not...

How Big Data Fuels Big Tech’s Anticompetitive Conduct and Gatekeeping Power

Achieving a truly open internet is only possible through robust online competition free from the control of today’s digital gatekeepers like Facebook...

The Corporate Power Narrative: How Corporations Benefit from Economic Globalization

In an excerpt from their new book, Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters, Anthea Roberts and...

Managers Should Satisfy Only the Ethically Permissible Preferences of Shareholders

Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales have proposed a revision to the dominant model of the objective of the firm, most famously defended...

Challenges to Sound Global Governance for Health

In an excerpt from his new book, Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future, Lawrence O. Gostin examines the challenges and...

Latest news

How to Make the Market for Real Estate Agents More Competitive

Delinking buyer and seller commissions will make markets for real estate agent services more competitive, allowing buyers and sellers to negotiate commissions...

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation: Covid, the Retail Crisis, and REITs

In an excerpt from his new book Retail Recovery, retail expert and author Mark Pilkington explores the impact of the sector's decline...

Addressing Climate Change Must Begin with Verifiable Carbon Accounting

Robert Kaplan and Karthik Ramanna propose a new approach for verifiable accounting on indirect corporate emissions that would apply to all corporations,...

The FTC Was Correct to Withdraw the Vertical Merger Guidelines

The 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines, now withdrawn by the FTC, did not represent sound merger policy, argues Steven Salop; rather, they were...

The Chicago Planning Program and the Interdisciplinary Tradition of the Chicago School

The Chicago Planning Program, an interdisciplinary program that operated at the University of Chicago between 1947 and 1956, is an often-neglected part...

Why a “Whole-of-Government” Approach is the Solution to Antitrust’s Current Labor Problem

For the majority of America’s regulatory history, the problem of employer monopsony was understood as a competition policy issue that required direct...

Antitrust Law’s Unwritten Rules of Unfair Competition

Does the Sherman Act actually “protect competition, not competitors”? An examination of the case law reveals a more nuanced picture, in which...