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Academic Articles Awards > Economics

Use and Abuse: The Myth of Divided Antitrust Economics

Pierre-Yves Cremieux and Aaron C. Yeater, Global Antitrust Economics - Current Issues in Antitrust and Law & Economics, March 2016

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The new pattern of global antitrust regulation established by government authorities shows that, despite much being made about economists’ inability to agree on anything, convergence in antitrust economics is both recent and remarkable. Economists today near-unanimously believe that antitrust enforcement is beneficial to both consumers and economic growth and that it is a necessary component of any modern free-market economy. Despite this agreement, conflicting economic evidence presented by experts in competition disputes remains. While economists, lawyers, and triers of fact may interpret opposing positions as reflecting a misuse of economics, in the vast majority of instances, disagreement among experts reflects differing underlying beliefs about the interactions of firms and consumers, as well as differences in their understanding of what constitutes competition in the market at issue. This discussion explores a series of questions to consider—What do economists believe? What methods do economists
rely on? Where do the differences lie?—to help focus on the root cause of common disagreements among economic experts in antitrust litigation. These questions are then considered in the context of litigation surrounding Best Buy in the matter of alleged cartel activity among thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (“TFT-LCD”) manufacturers.

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