Antitrust and the Platform Economy
Antitrust has, almost overnight, become the subject of an intense policy debate, driven by the growth of populist sentiment combined with the emergence of economically and politically powerful companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
One side argues that standard economics-based antitrust enforcement has allowed these companies to amass too much economic and political power. This side favors expanding the scope and goals of antitrust or, at a minimum, making enforcement significantly more assertive than it is today.
The other side argues that the current standards and goals of antitrust, which focus on consumer welfare, have largely served consumers and competition well. This side believes that our current approach to antitrust can address whatever competition problems arise, even with the large digital platforms.
This conference will bring together a group of prominent scholars to address the following questions that define this debate:
1. Is there a platform monopoly problem (or at least one not addressed by current antitrust enforcement)? How does the concept of "platform monopoly" relate to the traditional approach of defining antitrust markets?
2. Is the consumer welfare standard, which has guided antitrust enforcement, still sufficient?
3. Do agencies sufficiently incorporate effects on innovation into merger reviews?
4. Is Big Data an antitrust problem?
10:30 AM Panel - Antitrust and the Platform Economy
Michael Katz, Sarin Chair in Strategy and Leadership Emeritus, Department of Economics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Diana Moss, President, American Antitrust Institute
Howard Shelanski, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
Joshua Wright, University Professor and Executive Director, Global Antitrust Institute, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
Lawrence White, Robert Kavesh Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business
12:00 PM Lunch & Keynote
Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice