Are Loyalty Discounts Really Anticompetitive?
I promised that I would write about why I think that Professor Elhauge’s claim in his new working paper, “Loyalty Discounts and Naked Exclusion,” that he has proven that loyalty discounts generally involve anticompetitive effects is mistaken. Let me begin by saying that this is a very provocative claim from a very serious antitrust analyst and deserves careful attention. Loyalty discounts are an important and highly controversial issue in antitrust at the moment and so economic analysis that enlightens us to their effects in the marketplace should be applauded. I should also note, as I made clear in the first post, that I admire Elhauge’s work and have a great deal of respect for him. Obviously, with that many caveats, you know what is coming next. I strongly disagree that Elhauge’s economic analysis lives up to his claims.