Antitrust populism would shift US from free market to managed economy

Source: The Hill
by Jonathan M Barnett

“Antitrust law has long relied on two cardinal principles: the consumer welfare standard and the ‘rule of reason’ balancing test. Both principles reflect the view that antitrust is hard and that it is easy for regulators and courts to make errors. The consumer welfare standard ensures that antitrust law is only deployed against business practices that injure competition, rather than practices that disadvantage less-adept competitors. The rule of reason standard recognizes that business practices often have ambiguous effects …. This organizing framework of modern antitrust is now under attack by a coalition of regulators, legislators, and like-minded supporters. For this coalition, antitrust is easy: The competitive threat posed by ‘Big Tech’ is so clear that it is appropriate to discard the procedural and substantive constraints that require evidence of competitive harm before wielding the powerful remedies available under the antitrust laws.” (06/15/22)