For more than two decades, the willingness of policy makers to rethink the presumption that economic regulation automatically benefits consumers has driven the deregulation of the transportation, telecommunications, banking, and electricity sectors. Yet antitrust regulation enjoys continued esteem in both the business and popular press. High-profile antitrust enforcement actions increasingly constitute a business hazard for aggressive, successful firms, threatening to disrupt innovation and economic growth. Since economic regulations—including antitrust—transfer wealth, they inevitably attract political entrepreneurs seeking entry or price regulation to hobble or preempt competition. Thus, a more skeptical interpretation of antitrust activism is that antitrust benefits political “entrepreneurs” rather than consumers. Such enforcement for competitive advantage often harms consumers by increasing prices and decreasing output by undermining little-understood efficiencies. Rethinking the true impact of these practices, from “collusion” to “predatory pricing” to “discrimination,” should be a goal of policy makers.
Antitrust, Chapter 39 in the Cato Handbook for Policy, 6th Edition, 2005. (Prepared by Robert A. Levy.)
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. and Adam Thierer, Introduction to What’s Yours Is Mine: Open Access and the Rise of Infrastructure Socialism Cato Institute, 2003.
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. and Adam Thierer, Introduction to Who Rules the Net, Cato Institute, 2003.
Jerry Ellig, ed., Dynamic Competition and Public Policy: Technology, Innovation, and Antitrust Issues, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Summary: During the 1990s, U.S. antitrust policy began to take greater account of economic theories that emphasize the critical role of innovation and change in the competitive process. Several high-profile antitrust cases have focused on dynamic innovation issues as much as or more than static economic efficiency. But does dynamic competition furnish a new rationale for activist antitrust, or a new reason for government to leave markets alone? A dozen leading scholars with extensive antitrust experience explore this question in the context of the Microsoft case, merger policy, and intellectual property law.
Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis, Winners, Losers, and Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology, Independent Institute, 1999.
Summary: Have the antitrust actions by the Department of Justice against Microsoft and other firms really intended to protect consumers, or are they politically motivated attempts to help competitors achieve what they could not achieve in the marketplace? Do “network effects”—the fact that some products, such as telephones and fax machines, increase in value as more people use them—result in monopolies even if dominant companies do not seek to create monopolies? Do the current antitrust laws discourage entrepreneurship and innovation? These questions and many others are addressed through analysis of the real workings of high tech markets and their competitive structure.
R. W. Grant, Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine, Competitive Enterprise Institute reprint, 1998.
Summary: A comic-book-and-poem introduction to antitrust’s perils for the most productive.
William F. Shughart and Fred S. McChesney, eds., The Causes and Consequences of Antitrust: The Public-Choice Perspective, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Summary: Why has antitrust legislation not lived up to its promise of promoting free-market competition and protecting consumers? Assessing 100 years of antitrust policy in the United States, this book shows that while the antitrust laws claim to serve the public good, they are as vulnerable to the influence of special interest groups as are agricultural, welfare, or health care policies. Presenting classic studies and new empirical research, the authors explain how antitrust caters to self-serving business interests at the expense of the consumer.
D. T. Armentano, Antitrust Policy: The Case for Repeal, Cato Institute, 1986.
Friedrich A. Hayek, “Competition as Discovery Procedure,” Chapter 12 in New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas, University of Chicago Press, 1978, pp. 179-190.
Summary: In this chapter Hayek discusses the nature of competition, something that is so central to economic life, but which economists had paid little attention to in their theories. He highlights the means by which competition allows information to be revealed, and new ideas and innovations to be brought about. This “discovery procedure” of competition reveals the means by which markets allow for effective allocation of resources and incentivize innovation.
Joseph A.Schumpeter, “The Process of Creative Destruction,” Chapter VII from Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Harper Colophon Books, Harper and Row, Publishers: New York, 1942, pp. 81-86.
Summary: Schumpeter’s famous theory of entrepreneurship in which he describes the rise of new firms and their challenge to incumbents as the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Creative Destruction, he shows, is the lifeblood of an innovative, capitalist society.
Ronald A. Cass and Keith N. Hylton, “Tying Doctrine: Changing Views,” National Law Journal, June 28, 2004.
Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis, “Path Dependence, Lock-in and History,” Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, April 1995 11-1, pp 205-226.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, “The Antitrust Economists’ Paradox,” Austrian Economics Newsletter, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Summer 1991, pp. 1-6.
Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis, “The Fable of the Keys” Journal of Law and Economics, April 1990, 33-1 pp. 1-26.
Robert D. Tollison, “Public Choice and Antitrust,” Cato Journal, Vol. 4, No. 3, Winter 1985, pp. 905-916.
Frank H. Easterbrook, “The Limits of Antitrust,” Texas Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 1 (1984).
Faith, Leavens, and Tollison, “Antitrust Pork Barrel,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 15, October 1982.
Critiques of Chicago School interpretation of Antitrust enforcement based on Consumer Welfare standard.
Fred S. McChesney, “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter 1991, pp. 775-798.
Walter Block, “Total Repeal of Antitrust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen, and Posner,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol.8, No. 1, 1994, pp. 35-70.
Jack High, “Bork’s Paradox: Static vs. Dynamic Efficiency In Economic Analysis,” Contemporary Policy Issues, Winter 1984-85, pp. 21-34.
Jerry Ellig, “Untwisting the Strands of Chicago Antitrust,” The Antitrust Bulletin, 37:4 (Winter 1992), pp. 863-79.
Case Studies on the negative impacts of Antitrust enforcement.
Stan Liebowitz, “An Expensive Pig in a Poke: Estimating the Costs of the District Court’s Proposed Breakup of Microsoft,” George Mason Law Review, 3 Volume 9, Spring 2001, pp. 727-760.
William Shughart, “Barbarians at Bill Gates,” The Freeman, 50, April 2000, pp. 23−29
Ronald A. Cass and Keith N. Hylton, “Preserving Competition: Economic Analysis, Legal Standards, and Microsoft” George Mason Law Review, 8 Volume 1, 1999.
William Shughart and Richard B. McKenzie, “Is Microsoft a Monopolist?” Independent Review, 3 (Fall 1998), pp. 165−97.
Thomas W. Hazlett, “Predation in Local Cable TV Markets,” 40 Antitrust Bull. 609, 616-17 (1995).
Thomas DiLorenzo and Jack High, “Antitrust and Competition, Historically Considered,” Economic Inquiry, Vol. XXV, July 1987, pp. 543-545.
Armentano, D. T., “Efficiency, Liberty, and Antitrust Policy,” pp. 925-932.
Scholarly Surveys on the impacts of Antitrust.
Robert W. Crandall and Clifford Winston, “Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? Assessing the Evidence” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 17, No. 4 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 3-26.
Baumol and Ordover, “Use of Antitrust to Subvert Competition,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 28, May 1985.
William F. Shughart II, and Robert D. Tollison, “The Positive Economics of Antitrust Policy: A Survey Article,” International Review of Law and Economics, (1985), 5, pp. 39-57.
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., The Antitrust Modernization Commission: Proposed Issues for Reform. Comment by the Competitive Enterprise Institute Submitted to the Antitrust Modernization Commission, September 30, 2004.
Zachary Courser, “Wal-Mart and the Politics of American Retail,” CEI Issue Analysis, 2005 No. 10, November 18, 2005.
Robert Merges, “Compulsory Licensing vs. the Three ‘Golden Oldies’: Property Rights, Contracts and Markets,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 508, January 15, 2004
James V. DeLong, “Online Travel Services: The Antitrust Assault on Orbitz—and on Consumers,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 441, June 6, 2002.
James V. DeLong, “Ignorance Is Us: Toys, Music, and Antitrust Regulations,” CEI OnPoint, No. 70, September 13, 2000.
Stan Liebowitz, “Windows and the ‘Applications Barrier to Entry’: Fact or Fantasy?” CEI OnPoint, No. 56, January 18, 2000
William F. Shughart II, “The Government’s War on Mergers: The Fatal Conceit of Antitrust Policy,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 323, October 22, 1998
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., “Network Effects: Does Luck or Talent Rule the High-Technology Market?” CEI OnPoint, No 2, February 27, 1998
Robert A. Levy, “Microsoft And The Browser Wars: Fit To Be Tied,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 296, February 19, 1998.
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., Antitrust Policy as Corporate Welfare, CEI Issue Analysis, July 1997.
Donald J. Boudreaux and Andrew Kleit, Cleaning Hands In Predation Cases: A Modest Proposal to Improve Predatory-Pricing Suits, CEI Issue Analysis, October 1996
Donald J. Boudreaux and Andrew Kleit, How the Market Self-Polices Against Predatory Pricing, CEI Issue Analysis, June, 1996.
Gabriel Calzada, “Incompetent Europe,” Spain Herald, April 6, 2006.
Ronald A. Cass, “Antitrust a la Carte,” The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2005.
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., “Antitrust: Sherman’s March Across the Globe,” EU Reporter, September 13-17, 2004, p. 3.
Fred McChesney, “Talking ‘Bout My Antitrust Generation,” Regulation, Fall 2004, pp. 48-55.
George Bittlingmayer, “The Antitrust Emperor’s Clothes,” Regulation, Fall 2002.
Robert A. Levy, “Antitrust: The Case for Repeal,” The American Spectator, January 11, 2003.
William Shughart and Richard B. McKenzie, “Why the Case for a Breakup Breaks Down ,”The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2000, p. A26
Stan Liebowitz, “Should Microsoft be broken Up: No” (Counterpoint to a “Yes” column by Ralph Nader) The Dallas Morning News, January 30, 2000.
James V. DeLong, “The New Trustbusters: What’s Behind the Resurgence of Antitrust Activism—and Why It’s Bad News for Consumers,” Reason, March 1999.
James V. DeLong, “The Goose With the Golden Egg Is Being Led to Slaughter,” The Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1998.
Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., “Micro-Managing Bill Gates,” The Washington Times, March 2, 1998.
George Bittlingmayer, “Trustbusting: Past and Prologue,” Jobs & Capital (predecessor to Milken Review), Winter 1997.
Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis, “Path Dependence: From Qwerty To Windows,” Regulation Magazine, Fall 1995, pp. 35-42.
William Shughart, “Private Antitrust Enforcement: Compensation, Deterrence, or Extortion?” Regulation, Fall 1990, pp. 53−61.
Fred L. Smith Jr., “Why Not Abolish Antitrust?” Regulation, January-February 1983. pp. 23-33.