Lectures on Antitrust Economics

Article Source: MIT Press, 2006
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Time to Read: 1 minute read
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This book surveys recent issues in competition policy.


Policy Relevance:

Even in areas where competition policy seems to be settled, economists do not always agree on the right approach.


Key Takeaways:
  • Antitrust law is different from regulation. Regulation focuses on prices and behavior in one sector, while antitrust law maintains basic rules for competition.

  • The two types of competition cases are those involving collusion between firms, and those in which a firm or firms tries to exclude rivals from the market.

  • Economists generally agree that price fixing, when firms collude to raise prices, is harmful, but even here there are some surprisingly difficult cases.

  • Horizontal mergers, when competing firms merge, also present interesting questions for scholars.

  • Exclusionary vertical contracts, by which a competitor seeks to exclude a rival, are controversial. Some scholars with the “Chicago School” argue that it is doubtful that these contracts will usually harm competition, but recent work shows that in some cases these contracts might work to harm competition.



Michael Whinston

About Michael Whinston

Michael D. Whinston is the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management in the Applied Economics Group at MIT Sloan and Professor of Economics in the Economics Department. His research has covered a variety of topics in microeconomics and industrial organization, including firm behavior in oligopolistic markets, antitrust, game theory, the design of contracts and organizations, law and economics, and most recently health economics.