Monday, February 22, 2016

Competition Law for a Post-Scarcity World

Salil K. Mehra, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law has an interesting paper on Competition Law for a Post-Scarcity World.

ABSTRACT: Writers, economists and IP scholars have hailed signs of an incipient shift to a post-scarcity world. According to these accounts, this change is driven by rapid decreases not only in marginal cost, but also in the fixed or first unit costs of production. Whether these changes become economy-wide, or remain confined to a subset of industries, they have dramatic implications for competition law and policy. This Article is the first to address these implications. In particular, because of the incentive for incumbent firms to engage in “anti-disruption” – as examples such as the Apple/e-books antitrust case and the regulatory responses to Uber show – competition law must play an active role in assisting the transition to a post-scarcity world. How to play this role will not be simple, but the potential social welfare gains of this possible societal shift make it impossible to ignore.

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