Antitrust Law (LAW-692-001)
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Examines the laws that protect consumers by ensuring competition in the marketplace. Topics include agreements among rivals, agreements between firms and their suppliers and customers, monopolization, mergers, and antitrust and the new economy. The course goes beyond Supreme Court case law to study influential modern lower court decisions and government enforcement guidelines. Although economic concepts and thinking characteristic of contemporary antitrust analysis are integrated throughout, the economic content of the course is accessible to students without background in that field.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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The required text for the course will be: Andrew Gavil, William Kovacic, Jonathan Baker, and Joshua Wright, Antitrust Law in Perspective: Cases, Concepts and Problems in Competition Policy (West American Casebook Series), 4th Edition 2022 ISBN-13: 978-1683282723 ISBN-10: 1683282728 There also is an online version of this text available from West Academic Publishing A relatively inexpensive recommended text for the course will be: Avinash Dixit, Microeconomics: A Very Short Introduction (2014) ISBN-10 : 0199689377 ISBN-13 : 978-0199689378 This second text is particularly recommended for anyone who has never taken a microeconomics course or needs a basic refresher on the subject.
First Class Readings
For our first class session please read, in Andrew I. Gavil, William E. Kovacic, Jonathan B. Baker, and Joshua D. Wright, Antitrust Law in Perspective: Cases, Concepts and Problems in Competition Policy (4th ed. 2022), pages 1-5(end of first full paragraph), 6-7(to heading “A”), 19(bottom)-39(top); within Sidebar 1-2: “Non-Economic Values and Competition Policy” that starts at 39, read from the heading “The Case Against Reliance on Non-Economic Goals as a Guide to Antitrust Policy” to the end of the Sidebar, 48(bottom)-57, 69-72, 1438-39(top), 1459-61(top), 1489 (Sherman Act § 1) Optional Recommended Reading: Immediately after Sidebar 1-2, the next boxed text, entitled “Policy Exchange: Antitrust and Inequality – Two Views,” starting at page 43 United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Antitrust Enforcement Overview, posted in the Handouts and Supplements folder of the Course Materials section of the MyWCL site for the course Note on Digital Markets Policy Developments 67-69(top) Background Reading (please read as you can during the first two to three weeks of the course): Casebook 72(bottom)-84(top) ** How Much Economics do You Need to Know to Succeed in this Class? While antitrust law heavily involves the application of basic economic principles to varied forms of business conduct, it is not necessary to have studied economics previously to excel in the course and the field. If you have not taken a basic course in microeconomics before, however (or if you have done so and want to brush up on some fundamental ideas and principles after reading casebook pages 19-36), you may find it helpful over the first week or so to view Parts One and Two of the narrated PowerPoint presentation entitled “Introduction to Microeconomics.” (Please ignore the fact that the first slide is labeled “Introduction to Microeconomics - Continued” and any references in this presentation to things said in a prior class discussion.) The link to this mp4 file is posted in the folder entitled “Introduction to Microeconomics” in the Course Materials section of the MyWCL site for the course. The table of cost figures prominently discussed in this narrated PowerPoint presentation is posted at the MyWCL site for the course in the “Handouts and Supplements” folder as “02 Key Dimensions of Firm Costs.” The referenced document dealing with how a single-price monopolist determines its profit-maximizing price is posted in the same folder as “03 Monopolist Marginal Revenue Curve.” Alternatively, in the first week or two of the course, or in subsequent weeks, you may find it helpful to look at the recommended text, Avinash Dixit, Microeconomics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2014).