In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in high-tech markets. The existing body of research on the topic suggests that such markets lead to reinterpret antitrust law key concepts – which should be done.
In its investigation into Google’s search practices, Google Search, the Commission alleges that Google abuses its dominant position on the web search market by giving systematic favourable treatment to its “comparison shopping product” (namely, “Google Shopping”) in its general search results pages.
In a US Senate Hearing in 2011, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, stated that ‘competition is only one click away’. On 27 June 2017, the European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion for allegedly ‘abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service’. Ruthlessly, a fine is only one click away too.
Properly considered, there is no novel conflict between promoting the flow of information and protecting intellectual property rights online. While the specific mechanisms employed to mediate between these two principles may differ, the fundamental principles that determine the dividing line between “legal” and “illegal” content and its distribution offline can and should be respected online, as well.
Despite the Federal Communication Commission’s decision in December 2017 to eliminate the common carrier regulations for Internet services — the so-called net neutrality rules the FCC created in 2015 — the net neutrality debate rages on. Gus Hurwitz, Brent Skorup, and Geoffrey Manne discuss this new front in regulation, federalism, and grassroots activism.
Ours is not an age of nuance. It’s an age of tribalism, of teams—“Yer either fer us or agin’ us!” Perhaps I should have been less surprised, then, when I read the unfavorable review of my book How to Regulate in, of all places, the Federalist Society Review.
High-tech and network industries have a long history of evoking populist scrutiny. New technologies frequently disrupt incumbent, often less centralized, business models and interfere with existing relationships between sellers and consumers.
We are a group of eight scholars of antitrust law and economics affiliated with the International Center for Law & Economics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research center based in Portland, OR. Without taking a position on the merits of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, this letter provides a brief explication of our views on some of the important economic issues involved in the transaction’s antitrust review.