Understanding Statutory Bundles: Does the Sherman Act Come with the 1996 Telecommunications Act?

23 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2003

See all articles by Randal C. Picker

Randal C. Picker

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: January 2003


Three recent appellate decisions - Goldwasser, Trinko and Covad - have addressed the interplay of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the antitrust laws. This area raises questions of both substantive law and standing. This essay focuses on standing and in particular the question of how the antitrust doctrine in Illinois Brick should apply to situations in which there is an alleged breach of an access duty owed by an incumbent local exchange carrier. That access duty might arise under the 1996 Act itself or under applicable antitrust doctrines, such as the essential facilities doctrine or the duty to deal with competitors seen in Aspen Skiing. The essay sets forth a model of access duties leading to entry and Cournot duopoly and evaluates outcomes when that access duty is breached. The essay discusses various approaches to allocating suit rights depending on the purpose of enforcing the duty. I argue that the Illinois Brick doctrine which bars suits by consumers as indirect purchasers should have little application to the breach of access situation as the de facto compensation rationale of Illinois Brick won't operate when the entrant has been denied the mandated access.

Keywords: Goldwasser, Trinko, Covad, Illinois Brick, Aspen Skiing, Cournot duopoly

Suggested Citation

Picker, Randal C., Understanding Statutory Bundles: Does the Sherman Act Come with the 1996 Telecommunications Act? (January 2003). U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 177. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=374320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.374320

Randal C. Picker (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0864 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/Picker/

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