The Vertical Dimension of Cooperative Competition Policy

32 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2010

See all articles by James Ming Chen

James Ming Chen

Michigan State University - College of Law

Date Written: 2003


Competition policy in the United States is formed at multiple levels, and the sovereigns that formulate this policy often clash with each other. A phalanx of state laws must be reconciled with federal policies designed to ensure a nationwide common market. The United States uses two bodies of law to reconcile federalism with a national policy favoring interstate competition. These two approaches - antitrust immunity and the dormant commerce clause - are antagonistic in practically every important detail. Whereas antitrust immunity protects state and local freedom to restrain trade, the dormant commerce clause adopts precisely the opposite solution of protecting a national interest in free trade. The tension between these bodies of law parallels the fundamental dilemma of international competition policy. The American experience in coordinating its conflicting sources of competition policy therefore informs comparable efforts in the European Union and on the world stage.

Keywords: Antitrust, Competition Policy, Trade

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Chen, James Ming, The Vertical Dimension of Cooperative Competition Policy (2003). Antitrust Bulletin, Vol. 48, p. 1005, 2003; University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper . Available at SSRN:

James Ming Chen (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

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