Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / IP Law

Are Monopolies the Cause of All Economic Problems?

No.  But a couple articles are effectively raising the question.

The pendulum usually swings between over-enforcement and under-enforcement.  The two recent articles are beating the drum for more vigorous Section 2 enforcement.

The first – “Why Is It So Hard for Americans to Get a Decent Raise?” – suggests that monopoly (actually, monopsony) power is to blame for wage stagnation.

But the article notes that the study it describes may not account for the effects of bad local or national economies.

The second (Wall Street Journal, behind the paywall) – “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon” – argues that the big tech giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) are the modern-day equivalents of Standard Oil and AT&T.  The article restates some familiar arguments about platforms and network effects without really detailing the ways in which modern networks may differ from 19th century industrial trusts.

Seems like the pendulum may be swinging again . . . .

Speaking on Antitrust Issues with Joint Ventures at Practicing Law Institute (PLI)

I'll be speaking in a Practicing Law Institute (PLI) One-Hour Briefing on "Antitrust Issues with Joint Ventures" on February 22, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Here's a link to the program information and description. This … [Continue reading]

Antitrust Analysis of Joint Ventures : How Big Is Too Big?

My latest piece on joint ventures -- and the ancillary restraints doctrine -- is available here. … [Continue reading]

Are Franchise No-Hire Provisions Unlawful?

Two recent suits against McDonald's and Carl's Jr. are challenging franchise provisions that limit or prohibit the ability of one franchisee to hire away employees from another franchisee.  These provisions are fairly common, although after the suit … [Continue reading]

Can Software Conspire?

Philip K. Dick’s post-apocalyptic novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” (the basis for the movie Blade Runner) asked whether robots can think and feel.  One of the hot topics du jour in antitrust is whether (software) robots can conspire and … [Continue reading]

Antitrust Analysis of Joint Ventures – Ancillary Restraints

My latest piece on joint ventures -- and the ancillary restraints doctrine -- is available here. … [Continue reading]

Speaking on Joint Ventures

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking in an upcoming Strafford live webinar, "Antitrust Concerns With Joint Ventures and Other Collaborations: Balancing Competitive vs. Anti-Competitive Effects" scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 1:00 … [Continue reading]

Happy Fourth of July!

More blog entries to come soon. … [Continue reading]

Antitrust Analysis of Joint Ventures – Part 2

I've begun a new blog series on the antitrust analysis of joint ventures on the Orrick AntitrustWatch blog.  Here's a link to the second article.  As I wrote there: In this installment, we will unpack some of the major antitrust issues surrounding … [Continue reading]

Antitrust Analysis of Joint Ventures

I've begun a new blog series on the antitrust analysis of joint ventures on the Orrick AntitrustWatch blog.  Here's a link to the first article.  As I wrote there: Joint ventures (“JVs”) can require navigation of a potential minefield of antitrust … [Continue reading]

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