Antitrust for High-Tech and Low:
Regulation, Innovation, and Risk

Ronald A. Cass

Forthcoming, Journal of Law, Economics & Policy, vol. 9, issue no. 2, Spring 2013
International Center for Economic Research (ICER) Working Paper No. 12/2012
Boston University School of Law Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-50 (October 22, 2012)

Severe limitations on antitrust enforcement officials’ knowledge and the potential impact of ill-advised investigations and prosecutions on markets suggest that officials should exercise extraordinary caution in enforcement of restraints on single-firm conduct. Although it is common to depict antitrust enforcement as protecting market competition while other forms of regulation are seen as intrusions (justifiable or not) into market operation, antitrust enforcement has characteristics and risks similar to other forms of regulation. Government antitrust enforcement can be especially problematic, as it requires discretionary selection among an extraordinary range of possible targets, imposes significant burdens on companies that are under investigation or subject to suit, invites efforts by individual firms to motivate officials to deploy resources against rivals, and can seriously disrupt competition among firms. Antitrust authorities need to exercise special care in making enforcement decisions respecting conduct of individual dominant firms in high-technology industries, where antitrust enforcers’ abilities to understand and predict industry evolution are most limited and where enforcement actions are most likely to rest on debatable predicates about the effects of specific conduct. This article examines government enforcement decisions respecting four prior targets and draws lessons for enforcement going forward.

Size: 296 KB

Adobe Acrobat Reader v3.01 or greater is required to view this paper.
To obtain a free copy, click the button below

Ronald A. Cass Contact Information:

Center for the Rule of Law

746 Walker Road
Suite 16
Great Falls, VA 22066



Cass & Associates, PC
10560 Fox Forest Drive
Great Falls, VA 22066





Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215


SSRN Site:

Click here to close this window.