Showing 9 of 1367 Publications in Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The Best of All Possible Places to Work?

TOTM Are things looking up at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)? Maybe, kinda, sorta? At the margin? That’s the agency spin. Before we get to the . . .

Are things looking up at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)? Maybe, kinda, sorta? At the margin? That’s the agency spin.

Before we get to the new public relations, let’s take a step back. Much ink has been spilled, and many pixels specified, over the performance of FTC management. Not a little of it has attended survey evidence collected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and analyzed by the Partnership for Public Service for their annual rankings of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.® See, e.g., former FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson in the Wall Street Journal (here); Daniel Kaufman, a longtime FTC veteran and former acting director of its Bureau of Consumer Protection (here); the Washington Post (here); Bloomberg Law (here); your aging scribe (here); et ceteraet cetera.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Live Nation Breakup: Are Mergers Really to Blame for Ticketmaster’s Problems?

TOTM The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced yesterday that it has filed suit, along with 29 states and the District of Columbia, charging Live Nation Entertainment Inc. . . .

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced yesterday that it has filed suit, along with 29 states and the District of Columbia, charging Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiary Ticketmaster LLC with monopolizing the live-events industry in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Live Nation’s so-called “flywheel” (its bundle of concert promotions, artist management, venue ownership, and ticketing services) allows it to extend its dominance in one market into the other adjacent markets. It seeks both a jury trial and structural relief, with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland declaring that: “It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

All Roads Lead to Dallas: FTC Non-Compete Rule Set to Face Its First Legal Test in the Northern District of Texas

TOTM The sweeping prohibition on noncompete agreements promulgated by the Federal Trade Commision (FTC)—which would nullify 30 million contracts and preempt the laws of 46 states if it . . .

The sweeping prohibition on noncompete agreements promulgated by the Federal Trade Commision (FTC)—which would nullify 30 million contracts and preempt the laws of 46 states if it takes effect, as scheduled, on Sept. 4—is set for its first judicial test. In Ryan, LLC v. FTC, Judge Ada Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has indicated that she expects to rule on the plaintiffs’ motions for a stay of the effective date and for a preliminary injunction by July 3. Expedited proceedings in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court, are likely to follow.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

AI Partnerships and Competition: Much Ado About Nothing?

TOTM Competition policymakers around the world have been expressing concerns about competition in emerging artificial-intelligence (AI) industries, with some taking steps to investigate them further. These . . .

Competition policymakers around the world have been expressing concerns about competition in emerging artificial-intelligence (AI) industries, with some taking steps to investigate them further. These fears are notably fueled by a sense that incumbent (albeit, in adjacent markets) digital platforms may use strategic partnerships with AI firms to stave off competition from this fast-growing field.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Against the ‘Europeanization’ of California’s Antitrust Law

Popular Media The California State Legislature is considering amendments to the state’s antitrust laws that would enable more stringent antitrust scrutiny of technology companies, particularly so-called “Big Tech.” A . . .

The California State Legislature is considering amendments to the state’s antitrust laws that would enable more stringent antitrust scrutiny of technology companies, particularly so-called “Big Tech.” A preliminary report on single-firm conduct authored by a group of experts recruited by the California Law Revision Commission suggests this could be achieved by mimicking several features of European competition law. Unfortunately, this “Europeanization” of Californian antitrust law would benefit neither California’s economy nor its consumers.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

When Protection Becomes Overreach

Popular Media The Federal Trade Commission has shifted focus in recent months away from its traditional goal of protecting consumers and toward one of protecting workers instead. . . .

The Federal Trade Commission has shifted focus in recent months away from its traditional goal of protecting consumers and toward one of protecting workers instead. Most recently, the agency issued a rule that would ban essentially all noncompete agreements in employment contracts. The rule would forbid new noncompetes, and in existing contracts, only noncompetes covering senior executives would remain enforceable.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

How Should We Measure Competition?

TOTM Competition is the driving force behind the success of markets. It’s hard to imagine a thriving market economy without the presence of competitive forces. But . . .

Competition is the driving force behind the success of markets. It’s hard to imagine a thriving market economy without the presence of competitive forces.

But how do we actually measure competition? I use the term all the time, but do we actually have a measure of it? This question is more complex than it may seem at first glance.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The FTC Office of Patent Invalidation

TOTM The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced late last month that it had “expanded its campaign against pharmaceutical manufacturers’ improper or inaccurate listing of patents in the Food . . .

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced late last month that it had “expanded its campaign against pharmaceutical manufacturers’ improper or inaccurate listing of patents in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Orange Book, disputing junk patent listings for diabetes, weight loss, asthma,and COPD drugs, including Novo Nordisk Inc.’s blockbuster weight-loss drug, Ozempic.” Warning letters were sent to 10 manufacturers, including, among others, Teva (identifying 58 listings), Novo Nordisk (36 listings), and Boehringer Ingelheim (10 listings).

The commission “notified the FDA that it disputes the accuracy or relevance of more than 300 Orange Book patent listings across 20 different brand name products.” That expands on the 100-plus patents listed in the November 2023 warning letters that the FTC sent to an overlapping group of manufacturers.

That’s quite a few challenges. Reading through the FTC’s press release and warning letters, it’s not really clear what’s going on here. More frolic and detour on the part of Chair Lina Khan’s FTC, or a legitimate effort to protect competition in pharmaceutical markets?

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Intellectual Property & Licensing

What We Know About the Rise in Markups

TOTM In my research and newsletters, I’ve written about how to interpret markups—mostly on the theory side. I haven’t devoted much space explaining the empirics. How . . .

In my research and newsletters, I’ve written about how to interpret markups—mostly on the theory side. I haven’t devoted much space explaining the empirics. How high are markups in the United States? Are they rising? If so, by how much?

This post seeks to answer those questions. I’m writing it after reading a new paper by Nathan Miller on “Industrial Organization and The Rise of Market Power,” which is the most recent literature review. Miller focuses primarily on the markup literature from an industrial-organization (IO) perspective. I’ll have more to say about that later. The paper helped me gather my thoughts, but the interpretations and arguments below are all mine. So read this post, and then read Miller.

Read the full piece here.

Continue reading
Antitrust & Consumer Protection