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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Antitrust Basics: Misleading Herfindahl-Hirschman Index

    July 1, 2019
    Market concentration is the most common reason for antitrust intervention. If a company has too large a market share, it can abuse that market power to raise prices, restrict output, and engage in all manner of anti-competitive business practices. A merger that would create a dominant player or significantly reduce the number of competitors is likely to be blocked. But how should market concentration be measured?
  • More to Like in Zuckerberg's Aspen Talk Than Not

    June 27, 2019
    Yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on some of the most pressing issues facing his company and big tech as a whole. While his continued calls for government regulation of social media companies and other online services are dismaying, many of the principles Zuckerberg laid out represent exactly why such government intervention is not necessary and likely won’t produce better results.
  • If Facebook and Apple are Feuding, How Are they Monopolies?

    June 25, 2019
    An article in today’s Wall Street Journal recapped a recent war-of-words between a European Facebook executive, Nick Clegg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. At issue is the differing revenue models of the companies. Apple sells devices and subscription-based services. Facebook of course does not charge for the services it provides users and instead relies on advertising revenue.
  • Antitrust Basics: Relevant Market Fallacy

    June 24, 2019
    If a firm is charged with having market power, the question naturally arises: in which market? Does Facebook have a monopoly over social networking, especially now that it owns additional networks such as Instagram and WhatsApp? Or does Facebook compete with other uses of leisure time such as movies, television, books, sports, concerts, and countless other ways people can spend their time? Which is the more relevant market? The answer is subjective—a significant problem for a legal case with multi-billion dollar stakes.
  • A Vision for Freedom: CEI's 35th Anniversary

    June 24, 2019
    At the Competitive Enterprise Institute this week we’re still reflecting on the success of last Thursday’s 35th anniversary dinner and gala, and thanking our friends and sponsors for making the night so wonderful. On Friday, I blogged the annual dinner movie, a 10-minute short inspired by “Game of Thrones” and our own experiences working in the imperial city of Washington, D.C. Today, I'm pleased to bring you another short film, this one on the history of CEI.
  • Search for the Hand: 2019 CEI Dinner Movie

    June 21, 2019
    Last night was the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s 35th anniversary dinner and gala here in Washington, D.C., and a crowd of several hundred friends and supporters made the evening very special. The crowd was especially moved by tributes from the stage to founder Fred Smith by current CEI President Kent Lassman and longtime friend-of-the-Institute Rebecca Dunn.
  • Political Realignment Is Big Problem for Free-Market Supporters

    June 20, 2019
    Angela Nagle, an economic nationalist and author of “Kill All Normies,” recently argued on a podcast that, “Conservatives are starting to have these interesting debates internally about the fact that capitalism is not being their friend and helping their cultural project. […] The priorities of economic libertarianism no longer make sense."
  • Introducing Antitrust Basics

    June 17, 2019
    Often, a drips-and-drabs approach to learning an issue over a period of time is as effective as a single intense cram session. To that end, this post inaugurates a series to familiarize readers over time with the basics of antitrust regulation. This is important because the current antitrust revival is reaching a fever pitch.
  • VIDEO: How to Become a Federal Criminal

    June 14, 2019
    Have you ever made an unreasonable gesture to a passing horse in a national park? If so, you are already a federal criminal. For the rest of us, there’s a new work of reference, humor, and legal theory from attorney Mike Chase titled “How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender.”
  • This Summer, Celebrate Lemonade Freedom

    June 12, 2019
    There is good news for young entrepreneurs coming out of the Lone Star State, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently signed a bill allowing children to operate lemonade stands without needing a permit. Specifically, it “prohibits cities and neighborhood associations from enacting rules that block or regulate minors trying to sell nonalcoholic beverages on private property.”

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