The Strategic Use of Public and Private Litigation in Antitrust as Business Strategy

44 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2012 Last revised: 23 Sep 2015

See all articles by D. Daniel Sokol

D. Daniel Sokol

USC Gould School of Law; USC Marshall School of Business

Date Written: March 23, 2012


This Article claims that there may be a subset of cases in which private rights of action may work with public rights as an effective strategy for a firm to raise costs against rival dominant firms. A competitor firm may bring its own case (which is costly) and/or have government bring a case on its behalf (which is less costly). Alternatively, if the competitor firm has sufficient financial resources, it can pursue an approach that employs both strategies simultaneously. This situation of public and private misuse of antitrust may not happen often. As the Article will explore, it is not only a theoretical argument. This Article will provide examples of where this may have occurred both in antitrust's formative years and in its present.

Keywords: antitrust, enforcement, private rights, federal antitrust, state antitrust, public choice, Standard Oil, Intel, Microsoft, Google,

JEL Classification: K21, L40, L12, D72

Suggested Citation

Sokol, D. Daniel, The Strategic Use of Public and Private Litigation in Antitrust as Business Strategy (March 23, 2012). Southern California Law Review, Vol. 85, 2012, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-02, Available at SSRN:

D. Daniel Sokol (Contact Author)

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

USC Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

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