The Antitrust Revolution: Economics, Competition, and Policy

By John E. Kwoka Jr.; Lawrence J. White | Go to book overview

Preface

This book consists of reports from the front lines of a revolution. The revolution in question involves the critical role of economics in the antitrust process, and the reports in this book are descriptions of recent antitrust cases written by economists who were involved in them. These case studies provide insight into how economists think about antitrust issues, how economic evidence is treated in courts of law, and how economics increasingly influences the entire antitrust process. Each case provides a detailed description of key issues, arguments, and evidence. Each provides an evaluation of the economic and legal significance of the proceeding. And each sets out an economic perspective on an interesting industry and the policy questions that it raises.

The first edition of The Antitrust Revolution was gratifyingly well received. Many reported to us the enthusiasm of students, instructors, and practitioners of antitrust for the type of economics-oriented case studies that comprise this volume. That reception encouraged us to pursue a subsequent edition, then another, and now this, the fourth. In one sense our motivation has been unchanged throughout: to capture and convey the ever-greater role of industrial organization economics in the antitrust process. But over time this purpose has taken on other dimensions.

For example, it has become apparent that the “antitrust revolution” is an ongoing phenomenon. There is no universally agreed-upon target toward which antitrust analysis and policy are moving. Rather, the underlying industrial organization economics is an evolving body of understanding, so new ways of looking at issues are constantly emerging. Each new edition of The Antitrust Revolution reflects these changing perspectives, as it should. In addition, however, these four editions collectively make clear that economics plays a central role in a growing number of cases, and certainly in all major antitrust cases of our time. This is the revolution that we seek to chronicle.

This edition is much changed from its predecessors. The collection has grown to twenty cases, of which fourteen are entirely new. The large number of new cases reflects the increased frequency with which economically important issues are being raised and decided. These newly written cases include several from technology-based industries, including the Intel, Microsoft, and AOL-Time Warner cases; major mergers such as Heinz–Beech-Nut, MCI WorldCom-Sprint, and GE-Honeywell that raise significant policy questions; and cases alleging col-

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