Thursday, August 14, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: The American Antitrust Institute's Invitational Symposium on the Future of Aftermarkets in Systems Competition is extremely timely in light of a number of developments in business theory and practice and in antitrust law. (1) For those unfamiliar with the area, some of the questions that may initially come to mind when aftermarkets, systems, systems competition, and antitrust are considered include: What is an "aftermarket"? What is a "system" and how do aftermarkets relate to "systems competition"? How are aftermarkets, systems, and systems competition relevant to antitrust? Why is the study of the antitrust aspects of aftermarkets important now? What are some examples of current developments in aftermarkets and their antitrust concerns? What features of aftermarkets and systems competition complicate their antitrust analysis? How do (should) these features affect the antitrust analysis of aftermarkets? Given my introductory objective, each of these questions is addressed in a manner that provides background and initial understanding rather than in-depth insights and extended analysis. Other articles, including those appearing in this special issue, from which this overview draws, provide more depth and analysis on many of these topics.