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)

The Great Deplatforming: Can Digital Platforms Be Trusted As Guardians of Free Speech?

Online social media platforms accepted the role of moderating content from Congress in 1996. The Great Deplatforming that occurred after January 6...

How Wall Street Is Devastating Our National Security

Even the Pentagon now realizes that Wall Street’s insatiable appetite for easy profits and love of monopoly has become a clear and...

Digital Platforms May Be Monopolistic Providers, But They Are Not Infrastructure

Social media platforms are not infrastructure nor natural monopolies, and they should be regulated only if they have monopolistic power and abuse...

The Digital Markets Act Represents a Change in Europe’s Approach to Digital Gatekeepers

The Digital Markets Act is not a competition tool as such. Rather, it is a market regulation whose main objective is to...

Pentagon Report Points to Two Major Risks to National Security: Consolidation and Shareholder Capitalism

A Pentagon report released earlier this month warns that concentrated supply chains, offshoring, and a "business climate that has favored short-term shareholder...

There Are Lots of Competition Problems on the Internet. Parler’s Takedown Is Not One of Them.

Parler’s antitrust case against Amazon is doomed, and there is no basis for Congress to impose any special duties on Amazon to...

“An Offer We Can’t Refuse”: How We Gave Away Our Data and Made Big Tech What It Is Today

WhatsApp’s new terms of service should come as no surprise. For years, Big Tech has been offering its users these “take it...

Paul Romer: “If You Think Moderation is Censorship, You’ve Got a Competition Problem”

During a Stigler Center keynote webinar, Nobel laureate Paul Romer discussed concentration problems in the US and possible solutions, including a “pigouvian”...

Digital Markets Act: Policy Choices and Conditions for Success

Last month, the European Commission introduced an ambitious new set of rules for digital platforms, the Digital Markets Act. Here is what...

The Silent Coup

President Donald Trump's seditious actions are exposing the political power that Twitter, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook enjoy. Banning him from their...

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.