Antitrust Policy and Interest-Group Politics

By William F. Shughart II | Go to book overview

8
Using Antitrust to Subvert Competition

There is a specter that haunts our antitrust institutions. Its threat is that, far from serving as the bulwark of competition, these institutions will become the most powerful instrument in the hands of those who wish to subvert it. More than that, it threatens to draw great quantities of resources into the struggle to prevent effective competition, thereby more than offsetting the contributions to economic efficiency promised by antitrust activities. This is a specter that may well dwarf any other concern about the antitrust processes. We ignore it at our peril and would do well to take steps to exorcise it. 1

The case for characterizing antitrust as a mechanism for wealth redistribution, or what Robert Bork calls predation through governmental processes, 2 derives from three distinct, but related, contributions to the literature on public policies toward business. One component of this literature consists of studies attempting--and failing--to find evidence in support of the hypothesis that antitrust cases are selected on the basis of their potential net benefit to society. 3 The second is comprised of research showing political influences on the enforcement process. 4 And the third element is represented by the normative literature on antitrust, which is highly critical of enforcement efforts in a large number of specific cases.

More fundamentally, however, the emerging appreciation of the incentives of firms to use the apparatus of antitrust policy for the purpose of subverting competition is grounded in the theories of economic regulation and rent seeking. The first of these theoretical contributions explains the level and pattern of traditional economic regulation of price and entry, as well as newer forms of "social" regulation (health, safety, and environmental policies, for example), in interest-group terms. 5 That is, certain groups, whose stake in regulation is sufficiently concentrated and whose costs of mobilizing political influence are sufficiently low, have an incentive to lobby for regulatory favors that increase their own wealth at the expense of other groups whose interests are more diffuse and that face relatively high costs of mobilizing to oppose regulation. The regulators, in turn, serve as brokers of these wealth transfers, clearing the market for

-157-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Antitrust Policy and Interest-Group Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles from Quorum Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 8
  • Part I Normative and Positive Theories of Antitrust 9
  • 2: The Interest-Group Theory of Government 36
  • Part II Private Interests at Work 51
  • 3: Business Enterprise 53
  • 4 - The Antitrust Bureaucracy 100
  • 5: The Congress 104
  • 6: The Judiciary 121
  • 7: The Private Antitrust Bar 138
  • Part III The Political Economy of Antitrust 155
  • 8: Using Antitrust to Subvert Competition 157
  • 9: Reform in the Realm of Interest-Group Politics 177
  • Select Bibliography 197
  • Index 203
  • About the Author 209
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 214

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.