Antitrust enforcement efforts in the United States and abroad have been ramped up in high-tech industries, rekindling stale and largely unresolved debates concerning the appropriate role of antitrust enforcement in high-tech markets. Like the previous enforcement actions against Microsoft, and likely enforcement efforts in the future against similarly situated business firms, recent enforcement efforts challenging Intel’s business practices raise the same fundamental issues concerning the effectiveness of competition policy in dynamically competitive industries. While opinions and broad-sweeping assertions as to the appropriate role of antitrust in these markets are common, traditional empirical approaches have left fundamental issues unresolved. The enforcement actions against Intel, for example, have resulted in the assessment of over $3 billion in fines and consigned authority to the Federal Trade Commission to impose a variety of restrictions on Intel�s pricing practices, distribution arrangements, and product design choices.
Antitrust and Competition
Economic analysis of markets is a core part of what we do. Our research has focused on mergers, vertical integration, and global competition policy. Our experts have deep experience in competition policy.
Antitrust Case Against Intel Does Not Show Harm to Consumers
Evaluation of the competitive effects of Intel’s loyalty discounts, which garnered scrutiny from antitrust authorities, does not support claims that the company’s actions have harmed consumers. Analysis of market share, prices, and relevant financial markets fail to show higher prices or abnormal financial returns, concludes Joshua Wright in, “Does Antitrust Enforcement in High Tech Markets Benefit Consumers? Stock Price Evidence from FTC v. Intel,” released today by the Technology Policy Institute. The paper is a revised version of a paper presented at the recent TPI conference, “Antitrust and the Dynamics of Competition in High-Tech Industries.”
Event – Retrans Redux: The Economics of Retransmission Consent
The recent Cablevision-Fox dispute illustrates the delicate nature of negotiations between video programmers and distributors. In reaction to the dispute, the Federal Communications Commission announced it intends to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on retransmission in early 2011. Because negotiations between programmers and distributors take place in the shadow of FCC regulations, regulatory changes may have large effects on those negotiations. How will reformed retransmission regulations affect programming deliberations and deals? These questions will be explored at “Retrans Redux: The Economics of Retransmission Consent,” hosted by the Technology Policy Institute.
Innovation Effective in Addressing Competition Concerns
Technological innovation has a much greater effect on competition in high-tech sectors than antitrust remedies, according to research by Robert Crandall and Charles Jackson in ‘Antitrust in High-Tech Industries’ released today by the Technology Policy Institute. Antitrust remedies have not been successful at accelerating competition in such markets; rather competition has developed from technology that regulators could not predict. The paper is a revised version of a paper presented at the recent TPI conference, “Antitrust and the Dynamics of Competition in High-Tech Industries.”
Antitrust in High-Tech Industries
A large share of the recent growth in the United States economy has been in high-technology industries or service industries that use high-tech services. Information and communications technologies have developed very rapidly, generating productivity growth throughout the economy. The firms developing many of these technologies�such as Oracle, Intel, and Microsoft�have achieved a dominant position in the marketplace and thus attracted the attention of competition authorities. But successful innovation, with or without patent protection, is often accompanied by a position of market power. Transitory or even not so transitory monopoly profits are the reward for successful innovation and may be required to promote a dynamic economy, as Joseph Schumpeter explained decades ago. As a result, successful innovators often find themselves in conflict with competition policy authorities.
Peering or End of the Internet as we know It?
Antitrust and Vertical Integration in “New Economy” Industries
Whether the firms that supply Internet hardware and software should face restrictions on the use of their property is an important and controversial policy issue. Advocates of “net neutrality” � including President Obama and the current FCC majority�believe that owners of broadband distribution systems (hardware used to distribute Internet and video services) and producers of certain “must-have” video content should be subject to prophylactic regulation transcending present-day antitrust law enforcement. Their objective is to protect the free and open culture of the Internet from efforts to foreclose or limit competition in the provision of content, including online video services, which they see as potential competition to older video distribution methods.
Antitrust and Vertical Integration in ‘New Economy’ Industries
October 22 Event: Antitrust and the Dynamics of Competition in High-Tech Industries
Please join the Technology Policy Institute on October 22 for “Antitrust and the Dynamics of Competition in High-Tech Industries,” where experts will discuss and critique four papers examining antitrust issues of concern for the technology and communications sectors. The papers were prepared as part of the TPI project “Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Information and Communications Technology: Antitrust and the Dynamics of Competition in ‘New Economy’ Industries.”