Competition Policy and Antitrust

Competition policy uses economic analysis to enhance our understanding of how firm behavior affects social welfare. Scholars featured on this site consider how technology markets function, and the special issues raised by networks, platforms, interoperability, and bundling by firms like Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

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The Case for Breaking Up Facebook and Instagram

In this opinion piece written for The Washington Post, Columbia law professor Tim Wu argues that Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 never should have been given the okay by antitrust regulators. Professor Wu emphasizes: “It’s not too late to create a meaningful check on the power of Mark Zuckerberg’s company.”

Tim Wu
Source: The Washington Post
September 28, 2018

Government's Star Witness Takes the Stand in Marathon Day of AT&T Trial

"The merger will in fact harm consumers and the harm is significant in terms of the dollar amount." — Carl Shapiro, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley

Carl Shapiro
Source: CNN
April 11, 2018

If You Love High TV Bills, This Is the Merger for You

"Any way you count it, the result is a grand and easily predictable reduction in effective competition. This is what most clearly justifies Justice’s opposition to the merger." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Tim Wu
Source: New York Times
March 22, 2018

Google Can No Longer Count on Political Goodwill at Home

"If the standard narrative is that because the Republicans are in town, Simons is not going to do anything, he will really surprise people." — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University

William E. Kovacic
Source: The Economist
November 23, 2017

How a Comedy Website Came to Sell Wine to Survive

This article tells the story of survival in the age of Facebook. "Facebook has grown at a pace and had an impact that it’s really hard to say anybody planned. It isn’t just a mere commercial platform. It’s a place that people are turning to to get their sense of what’s going on in the world. That’s a combination that should be carefully navigated. It would be awfully strange, back in the day, if the Yellow Pages rearranged themselves every other day." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The New York Times
November 23, 2017

U.S. Faces Tough Battle Proving AT&T Would Use Time Warner to Squeeze Competition

"The issue of innovation is an important one. Satellite TV and cable companies face a significant challenge from Netflix. The cable TV providers are on the ropes as they face the innovators Netflix and" — Nicholas Economides, Professor of Economics, New York University

Nicholas Economides
Source: Los Angeles Times
November 21, 2017

AT&T-Time Warner Antitrust Suit Leaves Tech Firms Wary

"This signals an active Justice Department, and that can’t be great news for a company like Facebook, which has a pretty well-known reputation for wiping out its competitors." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Tim Wu
Source: The Washington Post
November 21, 2017

Washington Has Delivered a Tangled Message on AT&T’s Power

"It’s an ‘open the champagne bottles’ moment for AT&T. They can just tell people to pony up." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Tim Wu
Source: The New York Times
November 21, 2017

Senators Press Trump on White House Contacts Over AT&T-Time Warner Merger

"The Justice Department cannot block the transaction unless they do so on grounds that are well established in merger jurisprudence. They would need a principled basis to stop the deal." — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University

William E. Kovacic
Source: Variety
July 11, 2017

Yelp’s Six-Year Grudge Against Google

"Even if nothing else takes place, a consequence of this kind of intervention, so visible and so significant, has been to give other firms more room to maneuver." — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University

William E. Kovacic
Source: The New York Times
July 1, 2017
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TAP Blog

Tim Wu Makes a Case for Breaking Up Facebook and Instagram

Columbia law professor Tim Wu shares expertise from his time as a Senior Advisor with the Federal Trade Commission to explain how the agency approved Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. Professor Wu proposes unwinding that merger in order to insert competition to help ‘check’ Facebook’s power.

TAP Staff Blogger

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Fact Sheets

Comparative Antitrust

In the United States, “antitrust law” refers to the body of State and Federal laws that prohibits unlawful agreements and practices by firms with market power that harm competition. Europe, Asia and Latin America call the governance of market competition “competition law”.

Featured Article

Why the Right to Data Portability Likely Reduces Consumer Welfare: Antitrust and Privacy Critique

This article analyzes the potential weaknesses of the European Union’s potential new right to data portability.

By: Peter Swire, Yianni Lagos