Sunday, April 27, 2008
Posted by Shubha Ghosh
I just came back from Chicago where I attended Professor Spencer Waller's eighth antitrust colloquium. The conference was stimulating and the discussion lively, with a wide range of viewpoints, both academic and practitioner being represented. The day began with a presentation by Professor Maurice Stucke of The University of Tennessee Law School on the implications of Trinko and the hierarchy of enforcement by the antitrust agencies with cartels at the top, section 2 claims at the bottom, and mergers in the middle. Professor Stucke challenged this hierarchy, raising questions about the normative view of competition that underlies antitrust law and the harmful consequences that can arise from monopolization. Donald Baker's paper on the divergence between antitrust enforcement in the US and the EU continued the lively discussion in the late morning, particularly with Mr. Baker's arguments that the divergence had its roots in institutional and procedural differences on either side of the Atlantic. Commentators pointed out divergence within the EU itself, particularly between the UK and the Continent. The afternoon was rounded off with Professor Tim Greaney (of St Louis Univeristy Law School) presenting on antitrust after managed care and Professor Robert Lande (of The University of Baltimore Law School) presenting empirical work on the benefits of private antitrust enforcement. Professor Greaney's talk underscored the difficulties of applying traditional antitrust analysis to the imperfect markets for the allocation and provision of health care services. Professor Lande reported that the sizable awards in private antitrust litigation (both in terms of final judgments and settlements) provided an important deterrence function.
Congratulations to Professor Waller and the staff and fellows of the Institute. All are encouraged to be on the look out for next year's conference and to submit papers and attend.