The Trump Administration Attacks the Stigler Report on Digital Platforms

President Trump’s 2020 Economic Report finally confronts the issue of antitrust enforcement both in the traditional economy and in the digital one. While it criticizes the demand for more antitrust enforcement on the ground of insufficient evidence, it dismisses the conclusions of the Stigler Report on a purely a priori argument, ignoring all the evidence contained in the report. 

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Facebook’s Enduring Control Over Social Media Markets

According to the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Facebook accounts for 75 percent of the UK’s social media market. Over the past 10 years, only three companies succeeded in obtaining at least a 5 percent market share of social media users’ time: Instagram (which Facebook bought), WhatsApp (which Facebook bought) and Snapchat (which Facebook tried and failed to buy).

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Antitrust Law’s Current Stance Toward Workers Violates Its Original Purpose to Balance Power With Powerful Firms

Antitrust law’s present-day bias against democratic cooperation and in favor of top-down corporate control has contributed more broadly to the institutional weakness and perceived illegitimacy of workers’ collective action rights, even when those rights are grounded in labor law.  

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With the Court Approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger, the Dominant Doctrine in Antitrust Has Jumped the Shark

New York Judge Victor Marrero allowed two major mobile companies to merge in an already concentrated telecom industry, ensuring that prices will rise and service quality will decrease. His decision destroys Robert Bork’s frame that antitrust law is based on economic evidence, revealing Bork-style antitrust as basically just a ruse.

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Google’s and Facebook’s Grip on Digital Advertising Markets

Since July 2019, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has been conducting an extensive investigation of the digital advertising market. In its preliminary report on the investigation, the CMA expresses concerns that Google and Facebook have grown so “large and have such extensive access to data that potential rivals can no longer compete on equal terms.”

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Like Microsoft, but With More Glitter: The Cheerleading Monopoly Problem

Cheerleading is a huge part of American culture. It’s also an expensive sport, especially after a company called Varsity Brands bought the National Cheerleader Association in 2004 and built the perfect monopoly, thanks to acquisitions, vertical integration, and lobbying to prevent regulation.   

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How Allowing a Little Bit of Dissent Helps the Chinese Government Control Social Media

A new study on three major social networks in China finds that tolerating small, relatively free platforms helps the Chinese government maintain sufficiently high market-level censorship in an overall low-pressure environment. However, larger platforms censor more content than small competitors.

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