Citations (3)


Footnotes (63)



Standards Ownership and Competition Policy

Herbert J. Hovenkamp

University of Iowa - College of Law

March 2006

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-44

Antitrust law is a blunt instrument for dealing with many claims of anticompetitive standard setting. Antitrust fact finders lack the sophistication to pass judgment on the substantive merits of a standard. In any event, antitrust is not a roving mandate to question bad standards. It requires an injury to competition, and whether the minimum conditions for competitive harm are present can often be determined without examining the substance of the standard itself.

When government involvement in standard setting is substantial antitrust challenges should generally be rejected. The petitioning process in a democratic system protects even bad legislative judgments from collateral attack. In any event, antitrust's purpose is to correct private markets. It is not a general corrective for political processes that have gone awry. The best case for antitrust liability occurs when the government has somehow been deceived into adopting a standard that it would not have adopted had it known the true facts. Even then, nonantitrust remedies such as equitable estoppel are probably a superior solution.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: Antitrust, Competition, Standard Setting, Technology, Networks, Exclusion, Collusion, Regulation

JEL Classification: K21, L12, L44

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: March 10, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Hovenkamp, Herbert J., Standards Ownership and Competition Policy (March 2006). U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-44. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=889335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.889335

Contact Information

Herbert J. Hovenkamp (Contact Author)
University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )
407 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-9079 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,409
Downloads: 395
Download Rank: 57,274
Citations:  3
Footnotes:  63