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OpenMarket: Antitrust and Competition

  • Response to State Lawsuit against T-Mobile/Sprint: Mergers Signal Dynamic Markets

    August 6, 2019
    The end of the first blog post in this series warned that the real result of a successful lawsuit to block the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile would not be a market with four large wireless competitors, but rather one without Sprint or T-Mobile at all. This is because mergers signal a dynamic marketplace that is highly competitive.
  • State Lawsuit against T-Mobile/Sprint Counterproductive for Consumers

    August 6, 2019
    State attorneys general from fourteen states and the District of Columbia have sued to block the merger of mobile phone and Internet service providers T-Mobile and Sprint. The merger was recently green-lit by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and eventually the Department of Justice (DOJ), on the condition that certain assets would be spun off to create a new competitor in the wireless market.
  • VIDEO: Break up the Antitrust Attack on Big Tech

    July 12, 2019
    The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosted an interesting policy discussion on antitrust this week titled “Breaking Up Big Tech: Making Sense of the Debate.” You can watch the entire 90-minute program below.
  • Antitrust Basics: Regulatory Uncertainty

    July 11, 2019
    Antitrust laws are not enforced to the letter. They are a matter of regulators’ and judges’ discretion. If they were applied literally, every business transaction would be illegal.
  • Antitrust Basics: Rule of Reason Standard vs. Consumer Welfare Standard

    July 8, 2019
    Regulators have used two different standards to judge antitrust cases over the last century or so: the “rules of reason” standard and the “consumer welfare” standard. This post will briefly introduce them both.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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