Antitrust versus the Press: Two Systems of Belief About Monopoly

Cato Journal, Winter 2019 Vol. 39 No. 1, Pages 99-132

37 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2018 Last revised: 13 Feb 2020

See all articles by Dirk Auer

Dirk Auer

International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE)

Nicolas Petit

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Date Written: January 29, 2018

Abstract

A large body of scholarship demonstrates that press coverage is beset with biases. Contemporary media coverage of large firms operating in the digital economy suggests that some of these biases may be at work when the press describes them as “monopolies.” We test this hypothesis by analyzing a dataset of 1800 press articles dealing with monopolies and spanning 150 years. We find that the press is systematically prone to sensationalism when covering “monopolies.” Throughout the time period of our study, media coverage of “monopolies” has been disproportionately negative and pessimistic. Because antitrust authorities do not operate in isolation from the mass media, these biases may have important policy consequences.

Suggested Citation

Auer, Dirk and Petit, Nicolas, Antitrust versus the Press: Two Systems of Belief About Monopoly (January 29, 2018). Cato Journal, Winter 2019 Vol. 39 No. 1, Pages 99-132, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3112150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3112150

Dirk Auer

International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) ( email )

5005 SW Meadows Rd.
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United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://laweconcenter.org/author/dirkauer/

Nicolas Petit (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy

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