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Towards A Technological Overhaul Of American Antitrust

 |  January 4, 2023

By Ginger Zhe Jin, D. Daniel Sokol & Liad Wagman, University of Maryland, USC Gould School of Law & Illinois Institute of Technology

Recent outcry for antitrust reform argues that U.S. markets have become more concentrated, that large firms’ profit margins have increased, and that part of these changes may be attributed to lax antitrust enforcement since the 1960s. While each of these arguments is part of an intense intellectual discourse, politicians have released numerous legislative proposals for what they presumably believe would fix antitrust practices. Despite the clamor, one tangible and factual reason for antitrust reform has not received adequate attention: the informational infrastructure within the U.S. antitrust system massively lags behind the development of the digital economy. That is, the federal antitrust agencies are improperly equipped to organize and operationalize knowledge in enforcement. As a result, the agencies may miss critical warning signs of potential anticompetitive conduct, since they are often unequipped to properly identify issues and do not allocate existing resources effectively (let alone ask Congress for the right kind of resources).

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