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Economic Competition in a Time of Crisis

 |  March 30, 2020

Fiona Scott Morton, Yale Insights

The response to COVID-19 has brought much of the U.S. economy to a standstill, and Congress is considering a stimulus bill with billions to prop up key industries. What will the sudden economic shock mean for competition and antitrust policy? We asked Yale SOM’s Fiona Scott Morton, an economist who served in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, for her perspective.

What kind of anti-competitive behavior might we see during this acute crisis and during the recovery?

I am a little concerned that we will see conduct and mergers that companies would not otherwise engage in, but that will try in the hopes that no one in government is paying attention, or has the interest/resources to engage in enforcement. I am hopeful that enforcers are sufficiently on the job that this won’t happen, but I am not sure.