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The Antitrust Paradigm

The Antitrust Paradigm

Restoring a Competitive Economy

Jonathan B. Baker

ISBN 9780674975781

Publication date: 05/06/2019

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A new and urgently needed guide to making the American economy more competitive at a time when tech giants have amassed vast market power.

The U.S. economy is growing less competitive. Large businesses increasingly profit by taking advantage of their customers and suppliers. These firms can also use sophisticated pricing algorithms and customer data to secure substantial and persistent advantages over smaller players. In our new Gilded Age, the likes of Google and Amazon fill the roles of Standard Oil and U.S. Steel.

Jonathan Baker shows how business practices harming competition manage to go unchecked. The law has fallen behind technology, but that is not the only problem. Inspired by Robert Bork, Richard Posner, and the “Chicago school,” the Supreme Court has, since the Reagan years, steadily eroded the protections of antitrust. The Antitrust Paradigm demonstrates that Chicago-style reforms intended to unleash competitive enterprise have instead inflated market power, harming the welfare of workers and consumers, squelching innovation, and reducing overall economic growth. Baker identifies the errors in economic arguments for staying the course and advocates for a middle path between laissez-faire and forced deconcentration: the revival of pro-competitive economic regulation, of which antitrust has long been the backbone.

Drawing on the latest in empirical and theoretical economics to defend the benefits of antitrust, Baker shows how enforcement and jurisprudence can be updated for the high-tech economy. His prescription is straightforward. The sooner courts and the antitrust enforcement agencies stop listening to the Chicago school and start paying attention to modern economics, the sooner Americans will reap the benefits of competition.

Praise

  • The Antitrust Paradigm is a call to action by a premier scholar of competition policy. Baker makes a compelling case to change the guidepost for U.S. antitrust enforcement from ‘do no harm’ to ‘do some good.’ Anyone with a keen interest in antitrust should read this book, and I hope that includes some judges.

    —Richard J. Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

Author

  • Jonathan B. Baker, a former Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, is a Research Professor of Law at American University. He has also worked as the Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission, a Senior Economist on the Council of Economic Advisers, a Special Assistant in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and an antitrust lawyer in private practice. He is the former editorial chair of a leading antitrust law journal and coauthor of a leading antitrust law casebook. Baker has received the Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship, American University’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Accomplishments, and the FTC’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Book Details

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

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