Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Marina Lao, Seton Hall School of Law provides an Editor’s Note: Symposium on the Effect of Economic Crises on Antitrust Policy.
ABSTRACT: Viewed narrowly, there is little connection between antitrust policy and the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath. Nonetheless, the severe crisis has prompted debate on a basic antitrust policy question: whether antitrust enforcement is a luxury that the country can ill afford during periods of deep economic recession. The origins of the crisis have also exposed serious regulatory and market failures that have touched off debate on several broader issues. For example, have these failures called into question popular assumptions underlying modern antitrust policy – that markets are robust, self-correcting and can adequately protect consumers with minimal government intervention? And, to the extent that the assumptions have been undermined, what effect would (or should) it have on antitrust policy? Should there be less reliance on microeconomics in contemporary antitrust analysis? Should antitrust policy become more regulatory? The authors in this Symposium provide diverse analyses of some of the antitrust issues that are implicated. This Editor’s Note introduces the Articles and also independently touches on some of the issues.