By Richard A. Epstein
For over 100 years, the antitrust consent decree has been an incredible weapon within the federal enforcement of antitrust legislation. In Antitrust Consent Decrees in thought and Practice, Richard A. Epstein undertakes the 1st systematic learn in their use and effectiveness from either a old and analytical perspective.
Epstein observes how changes in antitrust philosophy can form the categories of finished settlements that the govt will search and the courts will provide. Epstein takes factor with competitive antitrust enforcement suggestions that search to take advantage of executive energy to essentially adjust constructions or the company practices of regulated enterprises, in a few cases resulting in their breakup. to provide an explanation for the perils of that procedure, Epstein rigorously examines the historical past of consent decree litigation, culminating in specific reviews of the AT&T breakup and the govt antitrust activities opposed to Microsoft.
Applying sleek theories of antitrust research, Epstein's valuable thesis is that daring antitrust treatments that aren't tightly tied to a defensible conception of wrongful behavior frequently turn out counterproductive. Such measures in general strength companies to undertake company practices and structural reorganizations that considerably abate their skill to compete successfully available to buy. The disparate fates of AT&T and Microsoft are the results of a huge and fruitful shift in wondering the use and boundaries at the antitrust legislation in a wide selection of commercial contexts.
Antitrust Consent Decrees in concept and Practice could be of curiosity to any reader who's all for the bigger implications of the govt. rules of legislations and company. Epstein brings approximately 40 years of private wisdom and event to this topic. Written in a transparent and nontechnical type, this ebook should still turn out a useful source to any pupil of legislation and financial coverage, in addition to legal professionals and policymakers all for antitrust litigation.
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Additional info for Antitrust Consent Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less Is More
Let something go wrong somewhere along the line, and, owing to the interdependence of the production stages, it could become very difficult to figure out which supplier provided the equipment responsible for the disruption of the process. Whether this justification is strong enough to trump section 2 concerns is, in the absence of empirical evidence, an open question, but the issue should not be waved off. To his credit, McKenna did not rest his case solely on this grand generalization. ”62 But the Court did not ask the more difficult question whether the efficiency calculus for the lessee tracked the efficiency calculus for society.
Combined, the two practices gave the vertical arrangement the appearance of sustaining a horizontal monopoly at the exhibitor level, a result that would be more difficult to defend if there had been no coordination in pricing at the producer level. In light of the evident antitrust violations, the key question was the remedy. The simple approach here called for an injunction against pricefixing agreements among the distributors and, more controversially, the restriction of downstream control by the producers.
Upstream, it terminated long-term supply contracts with the chemical companies from 20 ANTITRUST CONSENT DECREES IN THEORY AND PRACTICE which it had acquired bauxite. Downstream, it agreed not to withhold its ingot from any company that fabricated end-products in competition with the firm. As Crandall and Winston point out, the market for aluminum was, given the economies of scale in mining operations, too small to support more than a single major supplier, so that by 1937 Alcoa’s share of the ingot market still remained at a hefty 90 percent of overall production.