Property rights are an essential economic institution. As the great UCLA economist Harold Demsetz famously argued, property rights spur specialization, investment, and competition, which in turn increase productivity, innovation, and wealth throughout the economy.
FTC Hearings on Competition & Consumer Protection in the 21 st Century. Comments of the International Center for Law & Economics: The FTC’s Flawed Data Security Enforcement Program and Suggestions for Reform. Hearing #9 (Dec. 11-12, 2018). Submitted May 31, 2019.
The Eleventh Circuit’s LabMD opinion came out last week and has been something of a rorschach test for those of us who study consumer protection law. Neil Chilson found the result to be a disturbing sign of slippage in Congress’s command that the FTC refrain from basing enforcement on “public policy.” Berin Szóka, on the other hand, saw the ruling as a long-awaited rebuke against the FTC’s expansive notion of its “unfairness” authority.
In 1973, Michigan Senator Philip A. Hart introduced Senate Bill 1167, the Industrial Reorganization Act, in order to address perceived problems arising from industrial concentration. The bill was rooted in the belief that industry concentration led inexorably to monopoly power.