Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Antitrust Issues in Defining Markets in the Newspaper Industry

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Seth B. Sacher, FTC analyzes Antitrust Issues in Defining Markets in the Newspaper Industry.

ABSTRACT: A variety of antitrust market definition questions arise in the newspaper industry. One crucial factor affecting this industry with respect to market definition is that it involves two-sided platforms, with the two key groups being advertisers and readers. For the most part antitrust cases in the newspaper industry have focused on the impact of practices or transactions on advertisers. Despite the growth of so-called new media and its likely role in the continued decline in newspaper circulation rates both the DOJ and the courts continue to view the product market for newspapers fairly narrowly and to argue that various media operate in separate product markets. Geographic markets also tend to be viewed locally, such as a single city or MSA. A key factor leading to such findings is that price discrimination can be exercised with respect to those advertisers that are less able to substitute across media or geographic areas.

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