A Congressional Workshop on Trust

Broadband Updates September 28th, 2009

, Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com

A Congressional workshop will examine the proper application of antitrust policy to the information technology sector and scrutinize the direction the new administration is taking. The workshop will occur on October 16 in the Rayburn Office building. The workshop has the potential to explore how the application of government antitrust law can significantly affect innovation and investment, for good or ill.

The event is expected to focus on innovation and whether pro-competitive, pro-consumer behavior in high-tech may differ from such behavior in more traditional industries, as well as on how antitrust enforcement balances the risks of failing to stop potentially anticompetitive activities.

The panel will be moderated by Thomas Lenard of the Technology Policy Institute and will feature:

  • David Evans, University of Chicago and University College London;
  • Douglas Melamed, Wilmer Hale, former Acting Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division;
  • Philip Weiser, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International, Policy and Appellate Matters, Antitrust Division;
  • Joshua Wright, George Mason University School of Law; and
  • Jonathan Zuck, Association for Competitive Technology

IT firms have characteristics that make antitrust enforcement more complex, including significant amounts of intangible capital, supply- and demand-side economies of scale, and rapidly changing markets characterized by continuous innovation. The new administration has signaled a more proactive approach to antitrust enforcement, particularly with respect to high-tech and Internet-based markets.

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