When Antitrust Becomes Pro-Trust: The Digital Deformation of U.S. Competition Policy
CPI Antitrust Chronicle, May 2017
7 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 16, 2017
U.S. antitrust authorities soberly acknowledge that the centripetal accumulation of data, money and power at massive technology firms is likely to be indefinite without government action. However, they are doing very little about the problem, citing legal doctrine and economic analysis that blesses digital platforms' abusive practices as the culmination of market rationality. That quiescence is based on several misconceptions about platforms, consumers, and markets.
Contemporary scholarship on competition in digital industries is far more sophisticated than the approaches now commonly adopted at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition and the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice. To remain relevant in an era when international authorities are at the cutting edge of competition enforcement, these agencies will need to acquaint themselves with cutting edge research. This essay offers a brief introduction to that work.
Keywords: antitrust, competition policy, digital platforms, Apple, Google, monopoly, disruption, Taylorism,
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