A co-authored piece that argues that standardization is an emergent phenomenon, where parties have strong incentives to design institutions and contractual relationships that mitigate the scope for opportunistic behavior. The paper explores how these incentives have likely enabled firms to avoid severe market failures. We argue that ignoring these complex market dynamics may cause antitrust authorities and courts to do more harm than good. The paper then reviews recent regulatory interventions and questions whether this has indeed been the case. Finally, we suggest that antitrust authorities and courts should draw inspiration from acclaimed scholarship regarding both the evolution of cooperation and the management of common-pool resources.
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