40 Years After the Antitrust Paradox


It has been 40 years since Judge Robert Bork published his influential book, The Antitrust Paradox. Bork argued that antitrust enforcement prevented exclusionary deals-like vertical mergers-that would have increased efficiency. The paradox, therefore, was that while preventing certain mergers and exclusionary arrangements might have appeared to be pro-competitive, in fact such enforcement actions raised consumer prices. Judge Bork’s work led antitrust enforcement to take this possibility into account. It helped the antitrust bar accept the view that the effects on consumer welfare, not competitors, was the appropriate metric to consider when evaluating mergers. It also led to an era of scholarship that weighed efficiencies as well as competitive effects.

The legacy of The Antitrust Paradox, however, is being challenged in the United States and abroad. Many of the new antitrust authorities around the world focus more on competitors than on consumers. Separately, merger authorities and others are reconsidering views that were prevalent in earlier days of antitrust enforcement by questioning vertical mergers and other exclusionary arrangements more vigorously than in the past few decades.

At this event, expert antitrust scholars and practitioners will discuss the legacy of The Antitrust Paradox, whether its influence is on the wane, and where antitrust enforcement is likely to focus in the future.


  • September 26, 2018
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


409 12th Street SW, Second Floor, Washington, District of Columbia, 20024, United States