Antitrust & Consumer Protection
Ideally, regulatory agencies enforce antitrust laws to increase competition among businesses, prevent market stagnation, and promote consumer welfare. Despite often major intrusions into the market, agencies have sometimes failed to meet these goals. Why is this the case and what are workable solutions?
The authors of this paper argue that the modern consumer welfare standard is an objective, consistent, reliable, and appropriate framework for good antitrust law and enforcement.Read this paper
Experts discuss key take-aways from the Axon v. FTC oral argument and implications for administrative litigation at the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies.Listen to this podcast
In this episode, experts discuss the goals of the FTC’s new Strategic Plan as well as the challenges facing future agency action.Listen to this podcast
Adam Thierer interviews Professor Daniel Crane regarding state restrictions on direct car sales and their implications for automobile markets.Listen to this podcast
An expert panel debates the future of the FTC.Listen to this podcast
A panel of experts discusses the FTC’s statutory authority, processes and procedures, and likely upcoming actions.Listen to this podcast
Deep Dive Episode 197 – Competition at a Crossroads: Will the Executive Order on Competition Advance Competition, or Restrict It?
A distinguished panel joined us to lay out the arguments behind and implications of Biden’s executive order on competition.Listen to this podcast
Deep Dive Episode 189 – A Dawning Era for Vertical Mergers? The New Vertical Merger Guidelines, Illumina/Grail, and More
An expert panel discusses the recent developments in the vertical merger space, the Illumina/Grail case, and the future of antitrust enforcement.Listen to this podcast
Professors Joshua D. Wright and John Yun discuss the future of the conservative approach to antitrust law.Listen to this podcast
Experts discuss the Supreme Court’s recent decision and its implications for the FTC’s ability to seek, or a court to award, monetary relief such as restitution.Listen to this podcast
Joshua Wright joins us to discuss oral arguments in NCAA v. Alston and the potential implications of the case.Listen to this podcast
CFPB Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law Chair Todd Zywicki joins us to discuss his taskforce’s report.Listen to this podcast
Bilal Sayyed and Svetlana Gans discuss the state of the FTC, the challenges facing the agency, and the path ahead in the new administration.Listen to this podcast
Experts discuss the practicality and desirability of using common carrier to regulate social media content moderation.Listen to this podcast
Asheesh Agarwal and Ashley Baker join the podcast to discuss Senator Amy Klobuchar’s recently-announced bill to amend antitrust law.Listen to this podcast
A distinguished panel analyzes oral arguments in AMG Capital Management v. FTC, a case that could define the scope of the FTC’s remedial authority.Listen to this podcast
Ashley Baker discusses the burden of proof framework currently used in competition law, the role of presumptions in antitrust litigation, and the potential implications of the burden shift proposed in a recent House Judiciary report.Listen to this podcast
In this live podcast, FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips, Svetlana Gans, and Koren Wong-Ervin discuss the House Judiciary’s recent staff report and its potential ramifications.Listen to this podcast
Deep Dive Episode 144 – United States v. Google: Examining the Historic Antitrust Case Against Big Tech
This distinguished panel debated the merits of the DOJ’s antitrust claims, discussed the potential parallels to antitrust action against Microsoft, and opined on the government’s likelihood of success at trial.Listen to this podcast
On October 7, 2020, the Federalist Society’s Pennsylvania Student Chapter and the Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored an event on “Antitrust Populism and the Conservative Movement.”Listen to this podcast
John Shu discusses the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in FTC v. Qualcomm and examines the history, arguments, and ramifications of the case.Listen to this podcast
This expert panel examines recent calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to engage in substantive rulemaking under the competition and consumer-protection prongs of Section 5 of the FTC Act. How far does FTC statutory authority under 6(g) extend? Is rulemaking appropriate as a matter of policy? How has FTC rulemaking fared in the past and what guideposts should apply?Listen to this podcast
Deep Dive Episode 112 – FTC Hot Topics with Commissioner Christine Wilson: Regulatory Reform, Privacy, Antitrust, & Beyond
Please enjoy this recording of our May 18, 2020 fireside chat discussion on the Federal Trade Commission’s regulatory reform efforts, federal privacy legislation, and the future of antitrust law.Listen to this podcast
On March 4, 2020, the Regulatory Transparency Project sponsored a symposium with the University of Pennsylvania Federalist Society student chapter. The first panel of the symposium was titled “Do We Need to Rethink Antitrust for Big Tech?”Listen to this podcast
With the conclusion of the Federal Trade Commission’s 21st Century Hearings, the agency is finalizing several reports concerning the state of competition in the US, vertical mergers, the consumer welfare standard, and privacy.Listen to this podcast
Neil Chilson and Charlotte Slaiman discuss the debate over governmental oversight of big tech companies and the proper role of the federal government in promoting consumer welfare and market competition.Listen to this podcast
In this episode, Roger Alford (Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International Affairs) addresses consent decrees, consumer welfare, and the challenges of the emerging global digital markets.Listen to this podcast
Experts discuss key take-aways from the Axon v. FTC oral argument and implications for administrative litigation at the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies.Watch this video
Law professor Babette Boliek explains how two recent cases mark an evolution in antitrust laws towards covering the growing commercial enterprise of the student-athlete market.Watch this video
An expert panel debates the future of the FTC.Watch this video
A distinguished panel joined us to lay out the arguments behind and implications of Biden’s executive order on competition.Watch this video
A Dawning Era for Vertical Mergers? The New Vertical Merger Guidelines, the FTC’s Challenge to Illumina/Grail, and the Future of Enforcement
A panel of experts discusses the recent developments in the vertical merger space, the theories at issue in the Illumina/Grail case, and implications for future enforcement activity.Watch this video
The 1977 Supreme Court case Brunswick Corp. v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat set an important precedent about who can or cannot be a plaintiff in an antitrust suit.Watch this video
Professors Joshua D. Wright and John Yun discuss the future of the conservative approach to antitrust law.Watch this video
Experts debate the relevant legal contours and the desirability of a common carrier solution to curbing Big Tech power.Watch this video
In Apple v. Pepper, the Supreme Court considered whether consumers could directly sue Apple for a surcharge on apps in the iPhone App Store.Watch this video
The Regulatory Transparency Project hosted a virtual fireside chat with FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips on the House Judiciary Antitrust Staff Report and its potential ramifications.Watch this video
In 2004, the Supreme Court decided Verizon Communications v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko. The case examined what types of monopolistic activities would violate antitrust laws. The Court addressed issues involving forced sharing, the risks and rewards of competition in a free market, and the role of governing regulations. The Trinko decision raises important questions and provides insightful consideration for examining antitrust issues.
Jan Rybnicek is Counsel at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.Watch this video
On October 30, 2020, the Federalist Society’s Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group and the Regulatory Transparency Project cosponsored a virtual panel on “United States v. Google: Examining the Historic Antitrust Case Against Big Tech.”Watch this video
On October 7, 2020, the Federalist Society’s Pennsylvania Student Chapter, the Penn Law Journal of Law and Innovation, and the Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored an event on “Antitrust Populism and the Conservative Movement.”Watch this video
This expert panel examined recent calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to engage in substantive rulemaking under the competition and consumer-protection prongs of Section 5 of the FTC Act. How far does FTC statutory authority under 6(g) extend? Is rulemaking appropriate as a matter of policy? How has FTC rulemaking fared in the past and what guideposts should apply?
FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips gave honorary introductory remarks.Watch this video
On May 18, the Regulatory Transparency Project hosted a virtual fireside chat discussion on the Federal Trade Commission’s regulatory reform efforts, federal privacy legislation, and the future of antitrust law.Watch this video
A conversation about the history of antitrust law, the consumer welfare standard, and the tech giants.
Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google provide extremely valuable products and services, but their size, market share, and other concerns such as user privacy have led to concerns that they are wielding too much power.
Proponents of “populist” or “hipster” antitrust advocate for limiting the size of firms. This would require changing the Consumer Welfare Standard, which has been in place since the 1970’s.
Mark Zuckerburg’s testimony before Congress in April 2018 ignited a public debate about whether and how tech companies should be regulated. That debate continues and shows no signs of resolution.
Is it time to revisit the standards used in antitrust law? Our experts explore.Watch this video
Today’s regulatory landscape presents challenges for public and private entities. Private actors are often faced with conflicting, ambiguous, or altogether absent regulatory frameworks. Is it possible for them to overcome these challenges while delivering the creativity and innovation the marketplace demands? How can government regulators and legislators avoid stifling opportunity, function more efficiently, and enact and enforce sensible and effective regulatory schemes?
Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium, in partnership with the Regulatory Transparency Project, explored these vital questions from both the academic and practical perspectives. The second panel of the symposium focused on the current debate over the future of antitrust enforcement.Watch this video
Increasing skepticism about the influence and power of big tech companies has given rise to expanded calls for government to break up, punish or regulate the tech industry. We’ll bring together experts on all sides to debate the impact of big tech on society, and whether we need to rethink competition policy for the modern era. Moderated three-way debate.
The Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored the Lincoln Network’s Reboot 2018 conference.Watch this video
Every state has laws or regulations that require individuals seeking to offer a certain service to the public first to obtain approval from the state before they may operate in the state. Recent years have seen a significant proliferation of such laws, with less than 5% of jobs in the American economy requiring a license in the 1950’s to between 25-30% today. Although licensing in some occupations may benefit the public by reducing information asymmetry and/or ensuring a minimum quality level for a particular service, the significant growth in the number of occupations governed by some form of licensing requirements poses a potential threat to competition and consumer welfare. Our panel of experts discussed these important issues.Watch this video
Svetlana Gans and Josh Zuckerman
On November 7, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission. The case presents a narrow but vital question of administrative law. Do district courts have jurisdiction to hear “constitutional challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s structure, procedures, and existence?” Or must plaintiffs first raise such constitutional challenges in administrative proceedings before the FTC?Read this article
In November, the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project presented a panel discussion on the history of FTC rulemaking authority.Read this article
An Interview with Makan Delrahim, Former Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division
Makan Delrahim and Svetlana Gans
Svetlana S. Gans interviews Makan Delrahim, former Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.Read this article
Federalist Society expert Prof. Todd Zywicki has written several articles on the recent legislative momentum to cap credit card interest rates. His arguments explore a breadth of financial regulatory history and offers warnings for unexpected outcomes for consumers.Read this article
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International Affairs Roger Alford delivered the keynote address in March at the Pepperdine Law Review‘s Symposium.Read this article
Douglas Ginsburg and Joshua D. Wright
In a recent article Joe Kattan and Tim Muris (K&M) criticize our article on the predictive power of bargaining models in antitrust, in which we used two recent applications to explore implications for uses of bargaining models in courts and antitrust agencies moving forward. Like other theoretical models used to predict competitive effects, complex bargaining models require courts and agencies rigorously to test their predictions against data from the real world markets and institutions to which they are being applied. Where the “real-world evidence,” as Judge Leon described such data in AT&T/Time Warner, is inconsistent with the predictions of a complex bargaining model, then the tribunal should reject the model rather than reality.Read this article
An Evidentiary Cornerstone of the FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Qualcomm May Have Rested on Manipulated Data
The abbreviated trial in the FTC’s case against Qualcomm saw the presentation by Qualcomm of some damning evidence that, if accurate, seriously calls into (further) question the merits of the FTC’s case.Read this article
In March, the Pepperdine Law Review cohosted a symposium with the Regulatory Transparency Project on “Regulating Tech: Present Challenges and Possible Solutions”. Babette Bullock, Chief Economist for the FCC, began her panel by observing that antitrust is a hot topic again, appearing under several names such as populist, hipster, or EU style antitrust policy. Will Rinehart started his remarks with an accessible overview of the subject, and we have transcribed his comments to share them with you.Read this article
The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission’s Problematic Qualcomm Decision Highlights the Urgent Need for U.S. Leadership in International Antitrust
Joshua D. Wright
The TFTC’s Qualcomm decision clearly demonstrates the urgent need for further steps and continued leadership from American antitrust agencies.Read this article
Patience Roggensack and Lisa Kimmel
While professional licensing can have an important role to play in protecting consumers, the proliferation of state occupational licensing regulations over the past fifty years raises important competition policy concerns.Read this article
James C. Cooper, Koren Wong-Ervin, and Joshua D. Wright
More than a quarter of the American labor force requires a state license to work, a five-fold increase since the 1950s. Occupational licensing imposes restrictions on competition in every reach of the modern economy — with pernicious effects.Read this article