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General Antitrust

The Elephant in the Room

Joe Sims, article published in "William E. Kovacic - An Antitrust Tribute, Vol. I", released by the Institute of Competition Law Press in 2013.

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Bill Kovacic understands the American antitrust process from the inside. He has also consulted with countries all over the globe about how to best establish competition law structures and processes. So when he says the U.S. system needs to be improved, people should pay attention. In fact, however, he is either overly optimistic or just too nice to make the real point: American antitrust is in a state that requires outside intervention, since it is (like people who require intervention) unable to fix its problems by itself. The only possible solutions are all hard and require structural change, up to the abolition or complete refocusing of one of the two federal antitrust agencies. Of course, these may be the only solutions, but that does not make them likely. So in the end, this discussion may be purely conceptual. But at least we should be talking about solutions that would solve the problem if implemented. This article suggests four options that could work.

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