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Image: Microsoft just fired 1,900 workers from its gaming division, including Activision. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
The news of the layoffs was stunning: Three months after consummating its $68 billion acquisition of Activision, Microsoft fired 1,900 employees in its gaming division. The relevant question, from a policy perspective, is whether these terminations reflect the exercise of newfound buying power made possible by the merger? If so, then Microsoft may have just... Read More
Image: Jerome Powell's prolonged campaign of interest rate hikes is hindering the greening of the economy. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Larry Summers and other corporate apologists asserted for over a year that the Federal Reserve would have to engineer a recession to bring down prices. But as inflation continues to fall with no corresponding rise in unemployment, doomsayers’ insistence on the need to throw millions of people out of work to restore price stability has... Read More
Image: The Biden administration is proposing a new rule that could limit bank overdraft fees to as little as $3. (Photo: Getty Images)
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Biden White House proposed to limit prices on overdraft protection by banks. This is smart policy and is backed by sound economics. While inflation ran hot in 2022 and 2023, talk of price controls bubbled to the surface, even in economic circles. University of Massachusetts economist... Read More
Image: FTC Chair Lina Khan speaks at DealBook's Summit. Photo: Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times
The FTC just secured a big win in its IQVIA/Propel case, the agency’s fourth blocked merger in as many weeks. This string of rapid-fire victories quieted a reactionary narrative that the agency is seeking to block too many deals and also should win more of its merger challenges. (“The food here is terrible, and the... Read More
Image: Pete Buttigieg took big steps this year, but the Alaska-Hawaiian merger highlights the need for the DOT to remain vigilant. (Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
For his first two years as Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg demurred on critical transportation regulation, especially oversight of airlines. Year three has seen a welcome about-face. After letting airlines run amok, Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have finally started taking them to task, including issuing a precedent-shattering fine to Southwest, fighting JetBlue’s... Read More
Image: A Subway staff member holding a footlong sandwich.Scott Bairstow / Alamy Stock
Right before Thanksgiving, Josh Sisco wrote that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the $9.6 billion purchase of Subway by private equity firm Roark Capital creates a sandwich shop monopoly, by placing Subway under the same ownership as Jimmy John’s, Arby’s, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotzky’s. The acquisition would allow Roark to control over 40,000... Read More
Image: A control contest in 2015 designed to replace Dupont’s managers failed, with the decisive votes being cast by the top four shareholders of DuPont (Vanguard, BlackRock, State Steet, and Capital Research), who also held a sizable financial stake in Monsanto.
Seven years ago, Einer Elhauge published a call to arms. In a provocative essay in the Harvard Law Review, he urged the antitrust agencies to bring enforcement actions against what he called horizontal shareholding and what we now call common ownership. Common ownership raises antitrust concerns because investors own shares in two or more competitors.... Read More
Image: In U.S. v. Baker Hughes, Judge Thomas changed the language of the Clayton Act, despite considering himself to be a textualist. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP file
How many times have you heard from an antitrust scholar or practitioner that merely possessing a monopoly does not run afoul of the antitrust laws? That a violation requires the use of a restraint to extend that monopoly into another market, or to preserve the original monopoly to constitute a violation? Here’s a surprise. Both... Read More
Image: Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress earlier this year. Photo: Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Image
After more than a year of aggressive rate hikes, the Federal Reserve has now held them steady after each of the past two Federal Open Market Committee meetings. After peaking at levels not seen in decades, inflation has leveled off in the three-to-four percent range for months now. On top of that, job openings, and... Read More
Image: The best evidence of Amazon’s dominance is how hard the company has worked for years to squash any investigation into its actions.
Over 100 years ago, Congress responded to railroad and oil monopolies’ stranglehold on the economy by passing the United States’ first-ever antitrust laws. When those reforms weren’t enough, Congress created the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers and small businesses from predation. Today, unchecked monopolies again threaten economic competition and our democratic institutions, so it’s... Read More
Image: Microsoft just fired 1,900 workers from its gaming division, including Activision. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
The news of the layoffs was stunning: Three months after consummating its $68 billion acquisition of Activision, Microsoft fired 1,900 employees in its gaming division. The relevant question, from a policy perspective, is whether these terminations reflect the exercise of newfound buying power made possible by the merger? If so, then Microsoft may have just... Read More

Larry Summers and other corporate apologists asserted for over a year that the Federal Reserve would have to engineer a recession to bring down prices. But as inflation continues to fall with no corresponding rise in unemployment, doomsayers’ insistence on the need to throw millions of people out of work to restore price stability has... Read More

Image: Jerome Powell's prolonged campaign of interest rate hikes is hindering the greening of the economy. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Biden White House proposed to limit prices on overdraft protection by banks. This is smart policy and is backed by sound economics. While inflation ran hot in 2022 and 2023, talk of price controls bubbled to the surface, even in economic circles. University of Massachusetts economist... Read More

Image: The Biden administration is proposing a new rule that could limit bank overdraft fees to as little as $3. (Photo: Getty Images)

The FTC just secured a big win in its IQVIA/Propel case, the agency’s fourth blocked merger in as many weeks. This string of rapid-fire victories quieted a reactionary narrative that the agency is seeking to block too many deals and also should win more of its merger challenges. (“The food here is terrible, and the... Read More

Image: FTC Chair Lina Khan speaks at DealBook's Summit. Photo: Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

For his first two years as Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg demurred on critical transportation regulation, especially oversight of airlines. Year three has seen a welcome about-face. After letting airlines run amok, Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have finally started taking them to task, including issuing a precedent-shattering fine to Southwest, fighting JetBlue’s... Read More

Image: Pete Buttigieg took big steps this year, but the Alaska-Hawaiian merger highlights the need for the DOT to remain vigilant. (Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Right before Thanksgiving, Josh Sisco wrote that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the $9.6 billion purchase of Subway by private equity firm Roark Capital creates a sandwich shop monopoly, by placing Subway under the same ownership as Jimmy John’s, Arby’s, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotzky’s. The acquisition would allow Roark to control over 40,000... Read More

Image: A Subway staff member holding a footlong sandwich.Scott Bairstow / Alamy Stock

Seven years ago, Einer Elhauge published a call to arms. In a provocative essay in the Harvard Law Review, he urged the antitrust agencies to bring enforcement actions against what he called horizontal shareholding and what we now call common ownership. Common ownership raises antitrust concerns because investors own shares in two or more competitors.... Read More

Image: A control contest in 2015 designed to replace Dupont’s managers failed, with the decisive votes being cast by the top four shareholders of DuPont (Vanguard, BlackRock, State Steet, and Capital Research), who also held a sizable financial stake in Monsanto.

How many times have you heard from an antitrust scholar or practitioner that merely possessing a monopoly does not run afoul of the antitrust laws? That a violation requires the use of a restraint to extend that monopoly into another market, or to preserve the original monopoly to constitute a violation? Here’s a surprise. Both... Read More

Image: In U.S. v. Baker Hughes, Judge Thomas changed the language of the Clayton Act, despite considering himself to be a textualist. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP file

After more than a year of aggressive rate hikes, the Federal Reserve has now held them steady after each of the past two Federal Open Market Committee meetings. After peaking at levels not seen in decades, inflation has leveled off in the three-to-four percent range for months now. On top of that, job openings, and... Read More

Image: Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress earlier this year. Photo: Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Image

Over 100 years ago, Congress responded to railroad and oil monopolies’ stranglehold on the economy by passing the United States’ first-ever antitrust laws. When those reforms weren’t enough, Congress created the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers and small businesses from predation. Today, unchecked monopolies again threaten economic competition and our democratic institutions, so it’s... Read More

Image: The best evidence of Amazon’s dominance is how hard the company has worked for years to squash any investigation into its actions.

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