The Horizons of Antitrust
Proceedings of the 2016 Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture
23 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017
Date Written: October 19, 2016
The goals of antitrust law were the subject of debate in the United States during the 2016 election campaign and thereafter. While consumer welfare and efficiency have become the lodestars of antitrust enforcement, other goals such as fostering jobs, combating inequality, limiting foreign control of domestic assets, containing political power, and preserving small businesses all have attracted renewed interest. This article explores the choices triggered by this debate: Whether and how antitrust enforcement should take these other goals into account; whether the United States should adopt a “net benefits” test in reviewing transactions, similar to the tests already adopted in other countries; which arms of government, such as the antitrust agencies and CFIUS, should have responsibility for implementing these other goals; and how conflicting goals should be prioritized. The article contrasts the law in the United States with approaches taken in other jurisdictions and presents proposals for change.
Keywords: Antitrust, Competition, Trade, Net Benefit, National Interest, CFIUS
JEL Classification: K21, K20, L40, F13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation