Antitrust, Obsolescence and the “New Economy” (Again)

Gordon Crovitz (WSJ) plays the new economy card on antitrust.  Its a familiar wrap for those in the antitrust community that hit its peak in the original Microsoft days with virtually every competition policy scholar and commentator chiming in with an opinion about whether the internet and network effects and so forth rendered antitrust obsolete.  Analyzing the Microsoft case is a bit of an antitrust Rorschach test nowadays with critics of antitrust in the modern economy viewing the Microsoft prosecution in the U.S. as disastrous and likely harmful to consumers, more moderate (but still skeptical) folks believing that the prosecution was a Quixotic and not likely to affect competition or consumers because antitrust was simply too slow to respond in dynamic markets, and proponents pointing to it as proof of antitrust’s modern relevance.  The best analysis I’ve read of the Microsoft saga, and one I recommend to anybody interested, is Page and Lopatka’s The Microsoft Case (Chicago Press).

Read the full piece here.