Antitrust Activity and Distinguishing Influence from Quality

From the Economic Times:

The European Union’s antitrust agency is becoming more influential just as its US counterparts have grown more cautious and inactive, experts say. The European Commission’s recent success in forcing Microsoft to carry out antitrust sanctions underscores the differences, and academic researchers say the US is also hanging back in merger challenges. That makes Brussels, more than Washington, the place where companies must go to get their deal through and where companies must ready themselves against possible antitrust action. It also means competition agencies around the world look to Brussels.

“Influentialv.cautious” and “inactive.” I get it. The implication is that EU antitrust enforcement is good and US enforcement is bad. The proof? One is allegedly more interventionist than the other. As a general matter, I do not find “more is better” arguments (see, e.g., here) causally linking agency activity to the quality of antitrust policy to be very persuasive.

Read the full piece here.