On the Meaning of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle

Revue Concurrentialiste (Jan. 17, 2020)

U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-16

4 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2020 Last revised: 19 Feb 2020

See all articles by Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; University College London

Date Written: January 25, 2020

Abstract

This brief essay addresses the ambiguities in the meaning of “consumer welfare” in antitrust, exploring the differences between the Williamson, Bork, and current understanding of that term. After weighing the alternatives it argues that the consumer welfare principle in antitrust should seek out that state of affairs in which output is maximized, consistent with sustainable competition.

Keywords: antitrust, consumer welfare, welfare tradeoff, williamson, bork, output

Suggested Citation

Hovenkamp, Herbert, On the Meaning of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Principle (January 25, 2020). Revue Concurrentialiste (Jan. 17, 2020); U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3525385

Herbert Hovenkamp (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

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University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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University College London ( email )

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