Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

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Law & Economics Working Papers


Concern has been expressed recently that U.S. antitrust law may not be well suited to regulating the "new economy." Doctrines developed to deal with competition and monopoly in smokestack industries is not well adapted, it is argued, to dealing with the dynamic economy of the twenty-first century. What I shall argue is that there is indeed a problem with the application of antitrust law to the new economy, but that it is not a doctrinal problem; antitrust doctrine is supple enough, and its commitment to economic rationality strong enough, to take in stride the competitive issues presented by the new economy. The real problem lies on the institutional side: the enforcement agencies and the courts do not have adequate technical resources, and do not move fast enough, to cope effectively with a very complex business sector that changes very rapidly. This problem will be extremely difficult to solve; indeed, I cannot even glimpse the solution.



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