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Antitrust Law in the New Economy

Antitrust Law in the New Economy

Google, Yelp, LIBOR, and the Control of Information

Mark R. Patterson

ISBN 9780674971424

Publication date: 02/01/2017

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Markets run on information. Buyers make decisions by relying on their knowledge of the products available, and sellers decide what to produce based on their understanding of what buyers want. But the distribution of market information has changed, as consumers increasingly turn to sources that act as intermediaries for information—companies like Yelp and Google. Antitrust Law in the New Economy considers a wide range of problems that arise around one aspect of information in the marketplace: its quality.

Sellers now have the ability and motivation to distort the truth about their products when they make data available to intermediaries. And intermediaries, in turn, have their own incentives to skew the facts they provide to buyers, both to benefit advertisers and to gain advantages over their competition. Consumer protection law is poorly suited for these problems in the information economy. Antitrust law, designed to regulate powerful firms and prevent collusion among producers, is a better choice. But the current application of antitrust law pays little attention to information quality.

Mark Patterson discusses a range of ways in which data can be manipulated for competitive advantage and exploitation of consumers (as happened in the LIBOR scandal), and he considers novel issues like “confusopoly” and sellers’ use of consumers’ personal information in direct selling. Antitrust law can and should be adapted for the information economy, Patterson argues, and he shows how courts can apply antitrust to address today’s problems.

Praise

  • Professor Patterson offers a comprehensive and insightful analysis based on the proposition that antitrust law should take seriously information as a product in itself. Antitrust Law in the New Economy will inform and generate debate about the important issues concerning competition in today's information economy. The book's argument that antitrust law should limit the freedom of dominant information providers to design and use their products to gain competitive advantages makes it required reading for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and regulators around the world.

    —Barry Hawk, Fordham University School of Law

Author

  • Mark R. Patterson is Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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