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Clinton's Brave New Business World

9 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2001  

David S. Evans

Global Economics Group; University College London


An aggressive effort to use antitrust law to regulate the economy took place almost unnoticed in the final four years of the Clinton presidency. Highlighted by federal charges and assertions made in antitrust actions against Microsoft, Intel, American Airlines, Visa, and MasterCard, the government appeared to assume that successful companies engaging in aggressive business practices were guilty of antitrust violations unless they proved themselves innocent. The government also took the position that business practices could be unlawful even if there was no specific evidence that the practices harmed consumers.

Given that perspective, federal enforcement agencies under Clinton sought the restructuring and ongoing court-administered regulation of several critical industries. The new Bush administration, which inherits many still-open Clinton antitrust suits, must now weigh the virtues of policy continuity against the possibility that the courts will defer to a level of agency intervention that runs counter to Bush's business philosophy.

Suggested Citation

Evans, David S., Clinton's Brave New Business World. Regulation, Vol. 24, No. 3, Fall 2001. Available at SSRN: or

David S. Evans (Contact Author)

Global Economics Group ( email )

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Suite 900
Boston, MA 02108
United States

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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