Testimony on the 'State of Competition in the Digital Marketplace' before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law

39 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020

See all articles by James C. Cooper

James C. Cooper

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Joshua D. Wright

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

John M. Yun

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: April 24, 2020

Abstract

The extraordinary success of the digital sector of the domestic economy is indisputable. With this level of market success, growth, and influence, both economically and culturally, it is perhaps inevitable that these businesses are increasingly at the forefront of public policy discussions. Most relevant for our purposes are the now-common claims that these firms have systematically engaged in anticompetitive conduct, or are otherwise insulated from competitive forces, and that digital platforms’ exercise of monopoly power has remained unchecked at least in part due to gaps in our antitrust laws or lax enforcement of existing laws.

This testimony provides insights on three important questions concerning the state of competition in the digital marketplace: (1) Are existing antitrust laws that prohibit monopolization and monopolistic conduct adequate for digital platforms?; (2) Are existing laws adequate to prohibit anticompetitive transactions including for vertical and conglomerate mergers, serial acquisitions, data acquisitions, or acquisitions of potential competitors?; and (3) Is the institutional structure of antitrust enforcement — including the current levels of appropriations to the antitrust agencies, existing agency authorities, congressional oversight of enforcement, and current statutes and case law — adequate to promote the robust enforcement of the antitrust laws?

Keywords: digital sector, digital platforms, digital marketplace, antitrust, anticompetitive conduct, anticompetitive transactions, monopoly power, monopolization, consumer welfare standard

JEL Classification: K21, K22, K23

Suggested Citation

Cooper, James C. and Wright, Joshua D. and Yun, John M., Testimony on the 'State of Competition in the Digital Marketplace' before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law (April 24, 2020). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 20-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584629 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3584629

James C. Cooper

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

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-9582 (Phone)

Joshua D. Wright

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

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
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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