Antitrust Law: Economic Theory and Common Law Evolution

Antitrust Law: Economic Theory and Common Law Evolution

Antitrust Law: Economic Theory and Common Law Evolution

Antitrust Law: Economic Theory and Common Law Evolution

Excerpt

This book is, at least in part, the result of frustration. As a teacher of antitrust law, I found that the available textbooks did not offer the range of perspectives I try to give my students. I hope this frustration is reflected here. It has led me to push hard to create something that does not fit into one of the molds offered by the existing textbooks.

The available textbooks on antitrust approach the subject from one of two angles, law or economics. From the law angle, one finds either law casebooks or hornbooks. The law casebook,for those who have never seen one, is a compilation of excerpts from important court opinions, interspersed with discussions and questions contributed by the casebook authors. As a way of learning the important results of a court decision, the casebook is inefficient. One is forced to read through lengthy court opinions in the end to note one or perhaps as many as three important legal propositions. In addition, I have often found myself thinking, as I looked at a casebook, that the author is trying to push me in a certain direction without stating his opinions openly. I prefer to see opinions set out openly.

The format of this book avoids what I see as the drawbacks of the casebook. The case summaries state concisely the important legal propositions, and clearly separate them from the less important statements. Following each case, I discuss whether the decision can be defended on economic or legal grounds. My aim is not to brainwash students; it is to push them to question all aspects of the decision, from legal validity – that is, consistency with prior decisions and relevant statutory law – to policy considerations.

The other style of law textbook is the hornbook, in which the author summarizes the cases and provides some synthesis of the law. The benefit . . .

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