Fake News is Not an Antitrust Problem

CPI Antitrust Chronicle, December 2017

8 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2017

See all articles by Seth B. Sacher

Seth B. Sacher

Federal Trade Commission

John M. Yun

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: December 19, 2017

Abstract

Recently, there have been prominent calls to use antitrust enforcement to achieve objectives beyond that of protecting the competitive process. Adding to this increasing litany is an appeal to use antitrust to regulate the distribution of “fake news.” Specifically, there is an assertion that Facebook competes with and is responsible for speeding the demise of “legitimate” news sites by offering a favorable platform for “fake news.” In this article, we address this allegation in a standard monopolization and dominance framework. Ultimately, we find that fake news is not an antitrust problem and question whether fake news can or should be regulated — in the form of antitrust or otherwise.

Keywords: Antitrust, Fake News, Facebook, Dominance, Monopolization, Consumer Welfare Standard

Suggested Citation

Sacher, Seth B. and Yun, John M., Fake News is Not an Antitrust Problem (December 19, 2017). CPI Antitrust Chronicle, December 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3090649

Seth B. Sacher

Federal Trade Commission ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

John M. Yun (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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