September 16, 2005
Ayn Rand and Antitrust?
Paul Caron passed on this link to a review of The Abolition of Antitrust, by gary Hull, apparently someone with a deep commitment to the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. The arguments in the book seem provocative, although a bit tried and worn. Interestingly, the criticisms of antitrust in the volume are based in philosophy rather than economics, which perhaps explains why the articles seem less than convincing. Post-Chicago School theories or advocates of democratic theory would, I think, be the appropriate response to the arguments in this volume.
Newspapers sharing front pages
Joshua Claybourn posted the following query on the Indiana Barrister:
"[M]ore than 10 years ago the two major newspapers began a formal sharing in which each would send the other their next day's front pages. The sharing allegedly began as a courtesy between Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and former Times Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld. The sharing between the famous competitors raises an interesting legal question that no one has appeared to ask yet - is this agreement a violation of antitrust laws?"
Without knowing more, my intitial reaction is that sharing stories in this fashion would not violate the antitrust laws. It is not clear how this activity, as described, would have adversely affected competition and market price. My guess is that the practice was a way of assuring some degree of diversity in news reporting and to ensure that one paper did not look too much like the other. Any thoughts on possible antitrust violations?