For almost three decades, light-handed enforcement of the U.S. antitrust laws tilted the scales toward allowing consolidation and strategic conduct that was thought to enhance “efficiency.” Justifications for this approach ranged from forcing down costs, to promoting quality control and spurring investment in R&D by large deep-pocketed firms. Over-enforcement was the bogeyman of conservative ideology. Too-vigorous application of the laws threatened to stifle the efficiencies that were expected to flow from mergers and restraints on competition.
On June 21, the American Antitrust Institute will host its 18th Annual Conference. This year’s event will take up the important topic: The Value of Antitrust.
The American Antitrust Institute is now accepting nominations for the AAI 2017 Antitrust Enforcement Awards that recognize achievements in antitrust litigation by legal practitioners and economists. The Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on November 7, 2017, following the AAI's annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference. The award submission period closes on July 15, 2017.
AAI President Diana Moss participated in the 2017 Yale Healthcare Conference on the panel Payer Consolidation: Do Patients Benefit? Moss and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care President and CEO Eric H. Schultz debated how consolidation in the health insurance market impacts consumers and whether the Aetna-Humana and Cigna-Anthem mergers would create efficiencies that give patients better products at lower cost.
Two years have passed since the publication of Northeastern University Professor John Kwoka's book Mergers, Merger Control, and Remedies: A Retrospective Analysis of U.S. Policy. The book has received attention from economists, lawyers, policymakers, and regulators, including critique and criticism from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Kwoka recently issued a response to the FTC critique in Mergers, Merger Control, and Remedies: A Response to the FTC Critique.