Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 87, June 1999
40 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 1999 Last revised: 19 Feb 2016
Antitrust commentators have struggled to explain why firms engage in leveraging behavior and whether leveraging damages competition. The literature has focused on whether a firm with a monopoly in one market can use leveraging to gain additional monopoly profit from a second market. This article introduces the theory of defensive leveraging. According to the theory, leverage behavior should not be analyzed solely as an attempt to reap additional monopoly profit from a second market. Rather, it may be an attempt to prevent erosion of the primary monopoly. The article analyzes the life cycle of a monopoly and explains how defensive leveraging helps a monopolist extend the life of its primary monopoly by preventing splintering and next generation substitution. The article then applies defensive leveraging theory to three market examples: Microsoft's behavior in the market for Internet browsers, competition between physician and nonphysician health care providers, and Eli Lilly's behavior in the market for cephalosporins.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Feldman, Robin, Defensive Leveraging in Antitrust. Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 87, June 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=179358