Monday, September 8, 2008

Competition in the Antitrust Business

The Times reports:
The Justice Department laid out a broad policy on antitrust enforcement on Monday that drew an unusually sharp rebuke from three federal trade commissioners, who said it would protect monopolies from prosecution.

A 215-page report from the Justice Department, coming after nearly a year of public hearings, was originally meant to lay out a governmentwide approach to combating anticompetitive business practices. Instead, it exposed a rift between the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission over whether the government was protecting consumers or big businesses.

In a quick response to the Justice Department report, three of the four commissioners on the F.T.C. issued a statement saying that the policy was “a blueprint for radically weakened enforcement” against anticompetitive practices. They said the Justice Department guidelines allowed monopolies to act “with impunity” and “would make it nearly impossible to prosecute a case.”

This is far outside my bailiwick, but it sure sounds like a good thing that the Justice Dept. does not have a monopoly on antitrust. Hm... I wonder would Cournot or Bertrand be more appropriate to model this duopoly? (And that's all the I.O. I know..)

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