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Standardization and Markets: Just Exactly Who is the Government, and Why Should Antitrust Care?

65 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011  

Chris Sagers

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University

Date Written: February 22, 2011

Abstract

We take for granted that the basic choice in public policy is between allocation of resources by government bureaucracy, on the one hand, or allocation by markets, on the other. But that dichotomy is false, and at least under contemporary circumstances it is more accurate to describe the choice as between allocation by one kind of bureaucracy and allocation by a different kind of bureaucracy. This poses a problem for our antitrust policy, because it lacks any coherent guidance as to how to address those entities and transactions that are not governmental but are also not simply market-governed. This paper extensively examines one particular sector that nicely demonstrates how false the simple bureaucracy-markets dichotomy really is: the standard setting sector. Standardization is ubiquitous and hugely influential, but it is difficult to capture as either a government phenomenon or a market phenomenon.

Keywords: Standards, Standardization, Standard Setting Organizations, Antitrust, Competition, Competition Policy, Public Private Distinction, Privatization

JEL Classification: B25, B52, D02, D2, D23, D4, D43, D59, D7, D71, D72, D73, D78, H1, H7, K2, K21, K23, L1, L14, L15, L2

Suggested Citation

Sagers, Chris, Standardization and Markets: Just Exactly Who is the Government, and Why Should Antitrust Care? (February 22, 2011). Oregon Law Review, Vol. 89, 2011; Cleveland-Marshall Legal Studies Paper No. 11-205. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1767343

Chris Sagers (Contact Author)

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University ( email )

2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
United States

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