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Antitrust

Panel of Antitrust Experts Assembled by AEI Slams House Judiciary Antitrust Report as ‘Political’

Jericho Casper

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October 30, 2020 — An American Enterprise Institute webinar on Monday criticized the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee’s recent report, calling it politically-motivated and criticizing it for lacking sources and transparency.

“If you believe that there should be a much more politically motivated approach to antitrust, then you’ll agree with the report,” said Daniel Sokol, professor in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Sokol called the report a partisan act similar to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 net neutrality reversal. It would be “extremely naïve and short sided to think this is somehow different,” he said.

Comparing the House report to the Federal Trade Commission’s “big data” report issued in 2016, Sokol said that in the FTC’s report all the submissions were cited and there was nuance and synthesis.

“That’s not what we get here,” he said, where “around 375-pages of the House docket focus on news stories and submissions from professors,” without providing any sourcing.

“I was asked by the House Judiciary Committee to submit a paper to the proceeding,” said Thomas Hazlett, professor of economics at Clemson University and former chief economist at the FCC. Yet, according to Hazlett, none of the papers and sources gathered by the Committee were listed in the document. “While reading, I didn’t see any effort to incorporate the diversity of views that the Committee collected in good faith,” said Hazlett.

“The more you don’t have transparency in a report, the more it looks like a political document rather than something that’s weighty,” said Sokol. “Not a single one of the papers was cited. Maybe the staff looked at it, but they should have shown their work.”

Maureen Ohlhausen, chair of global antitrust and competition practice for Baker Botts, critiqued the report for failing to consider consumer interest.

“There is very little discussion of consumer interest, just passing references,” said Ohlhausen, saying the report instead focuses on companies’ anti-competitive practices.

“There is only a single page out of the 375-page analysis that actually mentions platforms may help competition,” said Sokol.

The report condemns the consumer welfare test and urges antitrust law move away from the consumer welfare standard, said Hazlett, yet Democrats “have nothing other than a vague notion that public interest regulation would perform better.”

Antitrust

Debaters Consider Whether a New Agency to Regulate Tech Platforms Would Do More Harm Than Good

Liana Sowa

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on

Screenshot from the virtual debate

October 30, 2020 — An American Enterprise Institute webinar on Monday criticized the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee’s recent report, calling it politically-motivated and criticizing it for lacking sources and transparency.

“If you believe that there should be a much more politically motivated approach to antitrust, then you’ll agree with the report,” said Daniel Sokol, professor in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Sokol called the report a partisan act similar to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 net neutrality reversal. It would be “extremely naïve and short sided to think this is somehow different,” he said.

Comparing the House report to the Federal Trade Commission’s “big data” report issued in 2016, Sokol said that in the FTC’s report all the submissions were cited and there was nuance and synthesis.

“That’s not what we get here,” he said, where “around 375-pages of the House docket focus on news stories and submissions from professors,” without providing any sourcing.

“I was asked by the House Judiciary Committee to submit a paper to the proceeding,” said Thomas Hazlett, professor of economics at Clemson University and former chief economist at the FCC. Yet, according to Hazlett, none of the papers and sources gathered by the Committee were listed in the document. “While reading, I didn’t see any effort to incorporate the diversity of views that the Committee collected in good faith,” said Hazlett.

“The more you don’t have transparency in a report, the more it looks like a political document rather than something that’s weighty,” said Sokol. “Not a single one of the papers was cited. Maybe the staff looked at it, but they should have shown their work.”

Maureen Ohlhausen, chair of global antitrust and competition practice for Baker Botts, critiqued the report for failing to consider consumer interest.

“There is very little discussion of consumer interest, just passing references,” said Ohlhausen, saying the report instead focuses on companies’ anti-competitive practices.

“There is only a single page out of the 375-page analysis that actually mentions platforms may help competition,” said Sokol.

The report condemns the consumer welfare test and urges antitrust law move away from the consumer welfare standard, said Hazlett, yet Democrats “have nothing other than a vague notion that public interest regulation would perform better.”

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Antitrust

Federal Trade Commissioners Disagree About Role of Antitrust Lawsuits Against Big Tech

Jericho Casper

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FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson

October 30, 2020 — An American Enterprise Institute webinar on Monday criticized the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee’s recent report, calling it politically-motivated and criticizing it for lacking sources and transparency.

“If you believe that there should be a much more politically motivated approach to antitrust, then you’ll agree with the report,” said Daniel Sokol, professor in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Sokol called the report a partisan act similar to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 net neutrality reversal. It would be “extremely naïve and short sided to think this is somehow different,” he said.

Comparing the House report to the Federal Trade Commission’s “big data” report issued in 2016, Sokol said that in the FTC’s report all the submissions were cited and there was nuance and synthesis.

“That’s not what we get here,” he said, where “around 375-pages of the House docket focus on news stories and submissions from professors,” without providing any sourcing.

“I was asked by the House Judiciary Committee to submit a paper to the proceeding,” said Thomas Hazlett, professor of economics at Clemson University and former chief economist at the FCC. Yet, according to Hazlett, none of the papers and sources gathered by the Committee were listed in the document. “While reading, I didn’t see any effort to incorporate the diversity of views that the Committee collected in good faith,” said Hazlett.

“The more you don’t have transparency in a report, the more it looks like a political document rather than something that’s weighty,” said Sokol. “Not a single one of the papers was cited. Maybe the staff looked at it, but they should have shown their work.”

Maureen Ohlhausen, chair of global antitrust and competition practice for Baker Botts, critiqued the report for failing to consider consumer interest.

“There is very little discussion of consumer interest, just passing references,” said Ohlhausen, saying the report instead focuses on companies’ anti-competitive practices.

“There is only a single page out of the 375-page analysis that actually mentions platforms may help competition,” said Sokol.

The report condemns the consumer welfare test and urges antitrust law move away from the consumer welfare standard, said Hazlett, yet Democrats “have nothing other than a vague notion that public interest regulation would perform better.”

Continue Reading

Antitrust

Justice Department Antitrust Division Sues Google, FCC Calls for Changes to Media Regulations, AT&T on Spectrum Sharing

Liana Sowa

Published

on

October 30, 2020 — An American Enterprise Institute webinar on Monday criticized the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee’s recent report, calling it politically-motivated and criticizing it for lacking sources and transparency.

“If you believe that there should be a much more politically motivated approach to antitrust, then you’ll agree with the report,” said Daniel Sokol, professor in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Sokol called the report a partisan act similar to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 net neutrality reversal. It would be “extremely naïve and short sided to think this is somehow different,” he said.

Comparing the House report to the Federal Trade Commission’s “big data” report issued in 2016, Sokol said that in the FTC’s report all the submissions were cited and there was nuance and synthesis.

“That’s not what we get here,” he said, where “around 375-pages of the House docket focus on news stories and submissions from professors,” without providing any sourcing.

“I was asked by the House Judiciary Committee to submit a paper to the proceeding,” said Thomas Hazlett, professor of economics at Clemson University and former chief economist at the FCC. Yet, according to Hazlett, none of the papers and sources gathered by the Committee were listed in the document. “While reading, I didn’t see any effort to incorporate the diversity of views that the Committee collected in good faith,” said Hazlett.

“The more you don’t have transparency in a report, the more it looks like a political document rather than something that’s weighty,” said Sokol. “Not a single one of the papers was cited. Maybe the staff looked at it, but they should have shown their work.”

Maureen Ohlhausen, chair of global antitrust and competition practice for Baker Botts, critiqued the report for failing to consider consumer interest.

“There is very little discussion of consumer interest, just passing references,” said Ohlhausen, saying the report instead focuses on companies’ anti-competitive practices.

“There is only a single page out of the 375-page analysis that actually mentions platforms may help competition,” said Sokol.

The report condemns the consumer welfare test and urges antitrust law move away from the consumer welfare standard, said Hazlett, yet Democrats “have nothing other than a vague notion that public interest regulation would perform better.”

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