The Consumer Welfare Standard: From The Antitrust Paradox to Hipster Antitrust
Recently, there have been a series of challenges aimed at “reinvigorating” antitrust enforcement agencies and institutions and calling into question the economic approach to antitrust. The “Hipster Antitrust” movement represents a departure from the longstanding nonpartisan consensus that rigorous economic analysis is a key ingredient to robust competition policy – a consensus that finds its roots in Robert Bork’s, The Antitrust Paradox. This latest challenge to the modern antitrust paradigm calls for the rejection of the consumer welfare standard and the incorporation of non-economic considerations, such as fairness, income inequality, and other broader social issues, into standard antitrust analysis. This symposium will highlight these current debates in the context of their application in merger policy, common ownership and passive investment, vertical restraints, and the goals of antitrust. Participants will discuss the new challenges to the modern consumer welfare oriented antitrust paradigm and suggest any necessary changes moving forward for antitrust enforcement.
To see a current agenda, please click here.