Antitrust Writing Awards 2020

Antitrust Writing Awards 2020

Several CRA consultants and academic affiliates have been nominated for Antitrust Writing Awards. The awards aim to promote antitrust scholarship and competition advocacy by recognizing and awarding the best articles published in antitrust law and the law and economics fields over the last 12 months. The winners will be announced during a gala dinner sponsored by Concurrences Journal and George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center on October 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. For more information on the awards, click here.  

To take part in the voting, click on the article links below.

Academic Articles

Nominee - Best Academic Article (General Antitrust)

Framing the Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 14 November 2019
Fiona Scott Morton with Herbert J. Hovenkamp

The Chicago School of antitrust has benefitted from a great deal of law office history, written by admiring advocates rather than more dispassionate observers. This essay attempts a more neutral stance, looking at the ideology, political impulses, and economics that produced the Chicago School of antitrust policy and that account for its durability. The early strength of the Chicago School of antitrust was that it provided simple, convincing answers to everything that was wrong with antitrust policy in the 1960s, when antitrust was characterized by over-enforcement, poor quality economics or none at all, and many internal contradictions. The Chicago School’s greatest weakness is that it did not keep up. The Chicago School’s initial claim was that newer models of the economy lacked testability. That argument lost its credibility, however, as industrial economics experienced an empirical renaissance, nearly all of it based on various models of imperfect competition.

Nominee - Best Academic Article (Concerted Practices)

Antitrust, Vol. 33, No. 3, Summer 2019
Matthew P. List, Jeffrey S. Spigel, John D. Carroll, Christopher C. Yook

In a recent decision involving allegations of coordinated output restrictions, the Seventh Circuit applied in dicta a rarely used theory called “perilous leading” to categorize the legality of supply decisions under Section 1 of the Sherman Act based upon their permanence – as either “less reversible” or “easily reversed.” The Court’s application of the perilous-leading theory assumes that a firm acting unilaterally in a competitive environment would not take a long-term supply cut (such as closing a facility) where competitors could capture the lost sales, even if that firm’s own supply exceeds the demand for its products. But the perilous-leading theory can also create perverse incentives by discouraging firms from rationally matching output with demand conditions to operate efficiently. Courts evaluating output restrictions should thus consider additional factors to accurately account for economic realities.

Nominee - Best Academic Article (Mergers)

Five Principals for Vertical Merger Enforcement Policy
Antitrust, Vol. 33, No. 3, Summer 2019
Fiona M. Scott Morton and Steven C. Salop with Nancy Rose and Jonathan Baker 

Modern economic analysis does not support a relaxed approach to vertical merger review and enforcement. For that reason, advocates should address the full range of potential competitive harms, with reference to the specific facts of their transaction, and apply the rigorous mainstream modern economic thinking that we have relied upon. For the same reason, advocates should analyze carefully the magnitude of claimed efficiencies, their merger specificity, and the likelihood that they would reverse the potential anticompetitive effect. The authors recommend five principles to anchor effective vertical merger enforcement by reducing false negatives while keeping false positives low. 

Nominee - Best Academic Article (Economics)

Wholesale Price Discrimination: Innovation Incentives and Upstream Competition 
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 28, No. 3, Fall 2019
Uğur Akgün with Ioana Chioveanu 

In intermediate good markets where there are alternative supply sources, wholesale price discrimination may enhance innovation incentives downstream. We consider a vertical chain where a dominant firm and a competitive fringe supply imperfect substitutes to duopoly retailers which carry both varieties. We show that a ban on price discrimination by the dominant supplier makes uniform pricing credible and reduces retailers’ incentives to decrease the cost of acquiring the competitively supplied variety, leading to higher upstream profits and lower downstream welfare. Our analysis complements existing results by identifying a novel channel through which wholesale price discrimination can improve dynamic market efficiency.

Nominee - Best Academic Article (Mergers and Economics)

Protecting Competition in the American Economy: Merger Control, Tech Titans, Labor Markets 
Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 3, Summer 2019, pp. 69-93
Carl Shapiro

Accumulating evidence points to the need for more vigorous antitrust enforcement in the United States in three areas. First, stricter merger control is warranted in an economy where large, highly efficient and profitable “superstar” firms account for an increasing share of economic activity. Evidence from merger retrospectives further supports the conclusion that stricter merger control is needed. Second, greater vigilance is needed to prevent dominant firms, including the tech titans, from engaging in exclusionary conduct. The systematic shrinking of the scope of the Sherman Act by the Supreme Court over the past 40 years may make this difficult. Third, greater antitrust scrutiny should be given to the monopsony power of employers in labor markets.