Antitrust Amorphisms

CPI Antitrust Chronicle, November 2019

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-27

9 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2019 Last revised: 19 Dec 2019

See all articles by Sean Sullivan

Sean Sullivan

University of Iowa College of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2019


Advocates of traditional antitrust are increasingly called upon to the defend the existing framework. In doing so they face a challenge: the traditional framework is actually quite difficult to explain. The problem is not that modern antitrust involves a lot of advanced economics — though that is also true. The problem is that foundational antitrust concepts like "harm to competition" and the protection of "consumer welfare" are shockingly ill-defined. This essay highlights several of the dormant ambiguities in these concepts, and thus the obstacles that antitrust has set for itself by failing ever to fully define its terms.

Keywords: consumer welfare, harm to competition, antitrust standards

JEL Classification: K21, L4

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Sean, Antitrust Amorphisms (November 1, 2019). CPI Antitrust Chronicle, November 2019, U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-27, Available at SSRN:

Sean Sullivan (Contact Author)

University of Iowa College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics