Eric Fruits headshot

Senior Scholar

Eric Fruits is a senior scholar at the International Center for Law & Economics and an adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University.

Antitrust

Advertising Antitrust FTC Innovation Intermediary Liability Market Definition Media Regulation

TOTM

The Case Against Google Advertising: What’s the Relevant Market and How Many Are There?

U.S. antitrust regulators have a history of narrowly defining relevant markets—often to the point of absurdity—in order to create market power out of thin air. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) famously declared that Whole Foods and Wild Oats operated in the “premium natural and organic supermarkets market”—a narrowly defined market designed to exclude other supermarkets carrying premium natural and organic foods, such as Walmart and Kroger. Similarly, for the Staples-Office Depot merger, the FTC narrowly defined the relevant market as “office superstore” chains, which excluded general merchandisers such as Walmart, K-Mart and Target, who at the time accounted for 80% of office supply sales.

Read the full piece here.