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Why the Antitrust Revolution is Likely To Last

Date: 7 Sep 2023 | posted in: agriculture, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against monopoly power. But is it durable? Can the political and policy momentum in antitrust last beyond its current leaders at our enforcement agencies? Stacy Mitchell writes in the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement about three signs that suggest this antimonopoly momentum is resilient: the ideology of consumer welfare has lost its hold; antimonopoly has a growing base of grassroots support; and our antitrust statutes are drawing a wide audience of lawmakers, advocates, journalists, and citizens.

Stacy’s article, which details the broad changes in American thought and politics that have brought us to this extraordinary moment, is part of a series of two dozen essays on the state of the U.S. revolution in antitrust, including articles by Lina Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commissioner, and Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice.

Read Stacy’s article, “Common Sense Returns to Antitrust.” 

Read the full issue here. Many of the pieces are paywalled, but several of our favorites are freely accessible. These include:

Digital markets and ‘trends towards concentration — Jonathan S Kanter, head of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, looks at how dominant tech platforms use small acquisitions to cement their dominance and why even the smallest mergers in digital markets warrant scrutiny.

Section 5 in action: reinvigorating  the FTC Act and the rule of law FTC Chair Lina M Khan discusses the FTC’s power to identify and police “unfair methods of competition” — a responsibility the agency has largely sidestepped for decades.

The President’s role in antitrust policy — Tim Wu writes about why it’s both important and appropriate for the president to take an active hand in antitrust policy and how Biden is the first president to do so in decades.

The major questions doctrine, FTC rulemaking, and rulemaking on non-compete clauses — Marina Lao examines whether the Supreme Court’s interest in limiting the authority of regulatory agencies could impede the FTC’s rule-making.

Methodological and normative elements of the new antitrust — Sanjukta Paul outlines two key elements that should guide the new antitrust policy, including the idea that policy should channel competition in productive directions, as opposed to destructive ones (e.g., competing to lower wages).

Democracy and Law in the New American Antitrust — Zephyr Teachout argues that, because antitrust plays such a central role in democracy, it’s all the more important that new antitrust policy be built on simple, publicly legible rules, with less discretion for judges and case-specific economic analysis.

Lasting change in competition law and policy — Spencer Weber Waller outlines several ways in which the shift in antitrust enforcement can be made durable.

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Follow Susan Holmberg:
Susan Holmberg

Susan Holmberg is Senior Editor and Researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Independent Business Initiative. She writes on corporate power and inequality and has been published in the New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, The Nation, and Democracy Journal.

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Follow Stacy Mitchell:
Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.