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


Introduction to Antitrust Law General Background



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Introduction to Antitrust Law

    1. General Background


  • Purpose of Antitrust Law is to protect consumer welfare and efficiency (short-term goals)
    long-term goal is difficult to predict

  •  Provision of goods and services

  • Mkt. Conditions: access to information; distribution of wealth; effectiveness of market power; existence of competition; “like” conditions in various markets; role of government in other markets and sectors of the economy (i.e. subsidies)

  • Harm to competitors d/n violate Antitrust Laws

  • Must weigh whether actions allow you to distribute products better or stifle competition

  • Focused on the effect of monopolization/market restrictions on consumers and producers

  • Rhetorical questions:

  • Are there other goals to competition law?  producer welfare

  • Why do we need markets?  economic democratization

  • Courts should interpret “restraint of trade” and “monopoly” in the context of specific cases

  • Theoretical bases of Antitrust Laws: two competing values

  • Federalization of common law rules?

  • Statutory law dependent upon common law for interpretations?

  • Wealth and power – concern for disparity of wealth and access to political power

  • This concern is still relevant to the global economy

  • Is antitrust an adequate means to combat disparity of wealth?

  • Have other mechanisms lessened the usefulness of antitrust laws to do so?

  • Consumer welfare and efficiency are the predominate concerns since ’74 and ‘80

  • All are relevant together under the Rule of Reason

  • Much is assumed under the Per Se Rule

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