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Brian Albrecht on Armen Alchian

Bloomberg – A tweet by ICLE Chief Economist Brian Albrecht was cited by Bloomberg in an item about #EconTwitter in the news service’s New Economy Daily . . .

Bloomberg – A tweet by ICLE Chief Economist Brian Albrecht was cited by Bloomberg in an item about #EconTwitter in the news service’s New Economy Daily newsletter. You can read full piece here.

https://twitter.com/briancalbrecht/status/1593275528609378305?s=61&t=8n39UqakNpfZCpVssTNmgw

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Adam Mossoff on SEPs

IPWatchdog – ICLE Academic Affiliate Adam Mossoff was quoted by IPWatchdog in a story about standard-essential patents. You can read full piece here. But attendees and . . .

IPWatchdog – ICLE Academic Affiliate Adam Mossoff was quoted by IPWatchdog in a story about standard-essential patents. You can read full piece here.

But attendees and panelists at SEP Masters warned that patent owners should be careful what they wish for. “I understand the concept,” said Professor Adam Mossoff of the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, speaking on a panel about high-stakes, multinational SEP litigation. “But it’s what the PTAB was supposed to be….You’re just creating new opportunities for strategic behavior.”

Mossoff also said SDOs should definitely not be the ones dealing with FRAND cases: “As a matter of institutional competence, SDOs shouldn’t be in the business of determining rates. That’s not what they do. They’re tech geeks.” Generally, said Mossoff, we should “be wary of the clarion call” for creating new institutions because when you create new opportunities for strategic behavior, “the lawyers win.”

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Kristian Stout on Privacy Legislation

Communications Daily – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by Communications Daily in a story about the prospects for privacy legislation in the . . .

Communications Daily – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by Communications Daily in a story about the prospects for privacy legislation in the lame-duck session of Congress. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

The outlook for privacy legislation is probably better than the outlook for antitrust legislation, said International Center for Law & Economics Innovation Policy Director Kristian Stout. Antitrust policy brings complications between consumer welfare-oriented Republicans and those behind the tech lash, he said. Though the existing privacy bills might not be the ultimate solution, the FTC’s ongoing rulemaking will put greater pressure on Congress to act, he said.

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Kristian Stout and Dirk Auer on What the Election Means for Tech

TechTarget – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout and Director of Competition Policy Dirk Auer were both quoted by TechTarget in a story about what . . .

TechTarget – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout and Director of Competition Policy Dirk Auer were both quoted by TechTarget in a story about what the 2022 midterms will likely mean for the tech sector. You can read full piece here.

The lack of strong bipartisan support for antitrust reform bills has been a significant struggle for Democrats. Though bipartisan support exists for some of the bills, it hasn’t been enough to advance them to a final vote, said Dirk Auer, director of competition policy at the International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE).

“Losing either one of the houses in Congress would make it harder for the Democrats to pass these bills,” he said. “If they had a very strong bipartisan coalition to pass these bills, that would have been done already.”

Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration will attempt to push some of the antitrust reform bills forward in the lame-duck period following the midterm elections. If the Republicans control one or both chambers of Congress, their support for antitrust reform bills during the lame-duck period will erode and likely won’t progress on Democrats’ terms, Auer said.

“They will want to leverage their stronger position and get the bills they want,” Auer said.

…Most of the bills introduced by both parties to reform Section 230 lack traction in Congress, something the midterm elections are also unlikely to change, said Kristian Stout, director of innovation policy at ICLE.

Stout said such strong disagreements exist between Republicans and Democrats on Section 230 reform that actual change to the law or interpretation of the law would most likely come from the Supreme Court instead of Congress. The Supreme Court might pursue a First Amendment case raised by the social media laws in Texas and Florida banning tech companies from removing content based on users’ political beliefs.

“I don’t think Congress is going to come out with radical changes to 230 anytime soon,” Stout said.

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Thibault Schrepel on Antitrust and the FTX-Binance Deal

Coinbase – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Coinbase in a story about the role antitrust could play in the proposed Binance-FTX deal. You . . .

Coinbase – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Coinbase in a story about the role antitrust could play in the proposed Binance-FTX deal. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

“Next time, check the compliance of your tweet with antitrust laws before you post,” tweeted Thibault Schrepel, an associate professor at Amsterdam University who specializes in blockchain and antitrust issues, of CZ’s announcement. “At this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this tweet in a forthcoming court document/antitrust litigation.”

…In the U.S., antitrust laws such as the Sherman Act outlaw direct competitors from acting to protect each other. CZ said that he had stepped in to protect users after FTX, faced with a “significant liquidity crunch” had asked for help. That suggests an illegal agreement, Schrepel says – who believes that U.S. laws would apply since the deal affects the entire company, regardless of whether FTX US is part of the deal or not.

Brandon Kressin, a crypto-focused attorney at boutique antitrust law firm Kressin Law Group, seconded Schrepel’s concerns.

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Thibault Schrepel on Merger Review of FTX-Binance

BusinessCloud – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by BusinessCloud in a story about potential merger review of the proposed Binance-FTX deal. You can read . . .

BusinessCloud – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by BusinessCloud in a story about potential merger review of the proposed Binance-FTX deal. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

Concerns were raised on Twitter over whether the deal would violate antitrust laws. “Next time, check the compliance of your tweet with antitrust laws before you post,” said Thibault Schrepel, an Amsterdam University academic specialising in blockchain and antitrust issues.

“At this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this tweet in a forthcoming court document/antitrust litigation.”

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Thibault Schrepel on Antitrust in Crypto

Bloomberg – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Bloomberg in a story about the antitrust implications of the proposed Binance-FTX merger. You can read . . .

Bloomberg – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Bloomberg in a story about the antitrust implications of the proposed Binance-FTX merger. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

“I would be surprised if the companies were to obtain the green light from all jurisdictions before the end of 2023,” said Thibault Schrepel, associate professor at VU University Amsterdam and faculty affiliate at Stanford University. Schrepel said it would be likely that a number of agencies would open in-depth probes, which could result in concessions such as selling off parts of the firms.

…What’s clear is that this deal will mean global antitrust regulators will get the chance to look at a nascent market that has yet to be substantially analyzed through a competition lens. Schrepel said there hasn’t yet been a decision by an antitrust regulator that has defined the market at stake.

Moreover, agencies could have a chance to not only look at the deal’s impact on the cryptoexchange market “but should also consider whether the deal will indirectly reduce the competitive pressure within blockchain ecosystems, for instance, whether the deal impact investments in the space,” Schrepel said.

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Thibault Schrepel on FTX-Binance Deal

Finews.asia – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Finews.asia in a story about Binance’s proposed deal to take over failing rival FTX. You can . . .

Finews.asia – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Finews.asia in a story about Binance’s proposed deal to take over failing rival FTX. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

“Next time, check the compliance of your tweet with antitrust laws before you post,” said Thibault Schrepel, an associate professor at Amsterdam University, in a social media post. “At this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this tweet in a forthcoming court document/antitrust litigation.”

While some may be quick to point out that FTX is based in the Bahamas, Schrepel noted that the relevant laws would remain applicable based on the location of operations.

“This is not relevant for the purpose of merger control: all that matters is where you operate, not where you are based,” Schrepel added.

 

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Kristian Stout on Elon Musk’s Plans for Twitter

TechTarget – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by TechTarget in a story about what Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter mean for the . . .

TechTarget – ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by TechTarget in a story about what Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter mean for the debate over platform regulation and content moderation. You can read full piece here.

However, Musk’s takeover of Twitter likely won’t serve as the catalyst for actual Section 230 reform, said Kristian Stout, director of innovation policy at the International Center for Law and Economics.

Section 230 “has on the whole provided the legal framework that is necessary for user-generated content to exist,” Stout said.

…Platforms interested in better content moderation need to figure out ways to discourage spam accounts and user accounts that remain anonymous to the platform operators, which Stout argues would make those users accountable for the content they share on the platform.

“Paying a little bit, even $1, to get on these platforms I believe will have an interesting and positive effect for the ecosystem of discussion on its own,” Stout said.

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