Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Consensus? Ideology, Politics and Elections Still Matter

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Steven C. Salop, Georgetown University Law Center states What Consensus? Ideology, Politics and Elections Still Matter.

ABSTRACT: This article, which was prepared for an ABA Antitrust Section Panel, discusses the role of ideology and politics in antitrust enforcement and the impact of elections in the last twenty year on enforcement and policy at the federal antitrust agencies. The article explains the differences in antitrust ideologies and their impact on policy preferences. The article then uses a database of civil non-merger complaints by the DOJ and FTC over the last three Presidential administrations to analyze changes in the number, type and other characteristics of antitrust enforcement. It also discusses change in vertical merger enforcement and other antirust policies such as amicus briefs, reports and guidelines. The article concludes that elections do matter and that the impact of elections on the DOJ and FTC has differed significantly.

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