Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Enforcement of Section 2 of the Sherman Act: Theory and Practice

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

William F. Adkinson, Jr., Karen   L. Grimm, and Christopher N. Bryan of the FTC write on Enforcement of Section 2 of the Sherman Act: Theory and Practice.

ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview of section 2 and its application to single-firm conduct, highlighting major features of section 2 enforcement activity and central policy issues facing courts and enforcers. Section I describes the elements of the primary section 2 offenses—monopolization and attempted monopolization—and the role of section 2 in antitrust enforcement. Section II describes the methods of section 2 enforcement, tracing the historical development of federal enforcement and surveying recent enforcement activity, both governmental and private. Section III provides a brief thematic overview of section 2 jurisprudence, and Section IV describes the economic theories and tools that have played an important role in section 2 analysis. Finally, Section V identifies certain recurring policy issues that were addressed at the recent Federal Trade Commission/Department of Justice Hearings on Section 2 of the Sherman Act: Single-Firm Conduct as Related to Competition [hereinafter “the hearings”]—the effort to develop clear and administrable rules and the consideration of error costs in designing rules.

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