Antitrust in the Not-for-Profit Sector
38 Pages Posted: 18 May 2006 Last revised: 27 Aug 2010
Date Written: April 2006
Despite the conceptual differences between for-profit and non-profit firms stressed in conventional economic analyses of the non-profit sector, U.S. antitrust law generally does not distinguish between these two organizational forms. This paper argues that the same incentives to restrain trade exist in the non-profit sector as in the for-profit sector. Altruistic firms benefit from exploiting market power, just as non-altruistic ones do, even when they would price below cost without regard to competition. Therefore, promoting competition is socially valuable regardless of the particular objectives of producers, and the fact that antitrust law does not distinguish between the two sectors is efficient.
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