Antitrust 1 Prof. E. Fox Fall 2004 1 I. Introduction to Antitrust Law 4 a. General Background 4

Technology, Information and Networks

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Technology, Information and Networks

  1. Guiding Principles

  • what is an anticompetitive product change vs. innovation?

  • Usually not a violation unless it is a strategic means of raising rival’s costs by degrading product

  • Network effects – value of one product or service increases to each user as more and more users come aboard  tilts toward the establishment of a standard, either through valid or invalid means

  • Can magnify first entry and early lead advantages and motivate efforts to increase market penetration, including exclusionary competitive strategies (i.e., Microsoft)

  • New market characteristics:

  • High innovation costs for information assets capable of appropriation mainly through IP

  • Resulting infeasibility of marginal cost pricing

  • Entry barriers based on IP and network externalities

  • Recurrence of complementary products w/separate demand curves

  • Frequently forming and dissolving joint ventures

  • EU perspective – antitrust rules normally trump IPR beyond their narrow essence

  • U.S. perspective – both spheres must be construed harmoniously to advance efficiency and technological progress and thus the interests of consumers

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