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
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