Stealth Commoditization: The Misuse of Smartphone Antitrust
CPI Antitrust Chronicle, September 2019
USC Center for Law and Social Science Research Papers Series No. CLASS20-8
USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 20-8
12 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 20, 2020
This contribution condenses the author’s previous detailed analyses of antitrust and patent policies in global smartphone markets. The discussion comprises three elements. First, it identifies the key constituencies in the smartphone ecosystem and the role each constituency plays in the technology supply chain. Second, it describes how courts’ and regulators’ interventions in the smartphone market rest on empirically unsubstantiated theories of competitive harm while advancing the private interests of producer-firms and producer-jurisdictions in reduced technology input costs. Third, it shows how this implicit renegotiation of licensing arrangements between innovators and implementers endangers the legal infrastructure of reliable intellectual property rights and contract enforcement that has promoted robust innovation, continuous entry and rapid growth in wireless communications markets.
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