Antitrust in the Shadow of Market Disruptions

12 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020 Last revised: 5 May 2020

Date Written: May 4, 2020


Large-scale market disruptions are recurring costly phenomena whose costs can be reduced through investments in preparedness and mitigation measures. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, this paper discusses common characteristics and levers of large-scale disruptions that courts and competition agencies should consider when interpreting the antitrust laws in normal times and periods of disruption.

Antitrust enforcement is neither the cause of nor the solution to costly disruptions; rather, it is a policy instrument whose existence and effectiveness affect the costs of preparedness and mitigation measures. Reasonably adequate antitrust enforcement standards are likely to drive down prices of products and services needed for such measures. The Covid-19 pandemic sheds light on these potential benefits of antitrust enforcement, as well as on the pervasive unwillingness to invest in sound public policies.

Keywords: antitrust, competition policy, Covid-19, technological change, market disruptions

Suggested Citation

Orbach, Barak, Antitrust in the Shadow of Market Disruptions (May 4, 2020). Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 20-22 (2020). Available at SSRN: or

Barak Orbach (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

1201 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tuscon, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-626-7256 (Phone)
520.858.0025 (Fax)


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