ANTITRUST INTENT

Ronald A. Cass
Keith N. Hylton

Boston University School of Law Working Paper 00-02

Abstract

Many legal rules turn on a party’s state of mind or intent with respect to some action or consequence. Legal scholars have long debated the contours of such requirements and the sorts of proof required for them. Intent has been an especially controversial issue in antitrust law. This paper provides a theory of legal standards that explains the role of intent analysis in antitrust and in other areas of the law. We argue that intent requirements, and many other legal rules, can be understood by focusing on the goal of minimizing the expected costs from legal errors. After developing a positive theory of intent standards, we apply the theory to antitrust to show that it explains both the allocation of and proof requirements for the specific intent standards in antitrust doctrine. We then use the Microsoft case as a concrete study of the function of intent rules in antitrust.

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Ronald A. Cass Contact Information

roncass@bu.edu
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
USA
(617) 353-3112

Keith N. Hylton Contact Information

knhylton@bu.edu
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
USA
(617) 353-8959

Presentation and Publication Information:

This paper will be published in Southern California Law Review, vol. 74, 2001.


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