7 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 13, 2022
There is a sudden resurgence of interest around a subject that has been relatively quiet for nearly four decades. In the postwar era, antitrust activity was quite robust—due in no small part to the theory that competition policy, in its goals of spreading economic and political power to the many rather than the few, was a means of fighting authoritarianism. Starting in the late 1970s, however, antitrust theory shifted away from non-economic goals, based instead on benefits to consumers. These shifts in policy have not come from new legislation. Indeed, antitrust’s foundational texts have changed little since their initial writing—a time when steel, oil, and railroads were matters of chief concern. But changing antitrust doctrine, as pronounced by administrative agencies and courts, is rooted in evolving economic theory and tools, with courts interpreting the original statutes through these new lenses. Since the last doctrinal shift, however, economic and political theories have evolved, but antitrust precedent has been slow to change. Recognizing this gap, policymakers, scholars, and advocates have called for a reexamination of original antitrust principles to better address contemporary economic and social issues.
Keywords: Antitrust Law, Technology Law
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