April 1, 2020
The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission will now allow some collaboration between companies to address the corona virus health threat. They also warned a frazzled business community that certain practices could still land them in antitrust hot water. The uncertainty will prevent some ideas from being tried and deny citizens the benefits of what could have been.
March 27, 2020
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation recently hosted its latest virtual event, “Reforming Antitrust Policy for an Era of Global Competitiveness.” ITIF President Rob Atkinson set up the discussion with the premise that European Union and United States antitrust policy may need to change—that is, loosen—to accommodate the consolidation of national champion-type firms in China.
March 4, 2020
Free-market advocates are understandably skeptical of “stakeholder” capitalism—the idea that corporate managers should focus not just on returns to shareholders, but on pleasing a potentially long list of other groups that claim an interest in the operations (and on the profits) of a company. Any given board and management team can apportion their own resources as they see fit, of course, but we small-government types are wary of theoretically voluntary guidelines for social and environmental awareness being transformed into binding legal requirements down the road.
March 3, 2020
Calls to regulate “big tech” firms continue to grow louder. Concerns range from the ability of these firms to influence the political landscape to allegations of anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions. Regardless of the specific gripe, the accompanying purported solutions almost universally involve more government regulation. However, these sentiments are just the latest versions of a problem that has plagued antitrust law since its inception: the relevant market fallacy.
February 19, 2020
PBS’s Frontline aired its documentary, “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos,” last night. While the tone of the piece was markedly suspicious, it didn’t offer up any new information to indicate antitrust concerns against the online retailer have any merit.
February 13, 2020
Competition is an ongoing discovery process. The reason firms exist is not to enable or restrict competition. It is to reduce transaction costs. There is no magic number of firms that accomplishes that goal.
January 22, 2020
Antitrust policy interventions into the market rarely work as intended.
January 3, 2020
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Liberty Media Corp, which already owns Sirius XM satellite radio, including its Pandora streaming service, and 33% of concert promotion giant Live Nation Entertainment, wants permission from the US Department of Justice to purchase a controlling stake in iHeart Media Inc.
December 18, 2019
On January 27th, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to block travel technology company Sabre Corporation from purchasing communications protocol innovator Farelogix, Inc. This will be the DOJ’s first time back at bat after striking out in June 2018 against AT&T’s ultimately successful acquisition of Time Warner. Unfortunately, it’s a good example of overzealous antitrust regulation.
December 3, 2019
Last week the attorneys general of Texas and Nevada announced the withdrawal of their support of a multistate lawsuit to block the merger of cellular telephone and Internet service providers T-Mobile and Sprint. This follows similar announcements from the attorneys general of Mississippi and Colorado earlier this year. With these announcements, more state attorneys general now support the merger than oppose it.