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Antitrust Populism: Theory

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Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

Synonyms

Hipster antitrust; New Brandeis Movement; Populist antitrust

Definition

Antitrust populism refers to the populist use of competition policies in order to pursue politically motivated antitrust enforcement in neglect of antitrust economics. The historical tradition of a populist use of competition policies is hereby outlined and discussed.

Whatever else may be said for the future of antitrust, one prediction leaps from the historical record: populist sentiment will ebb and flow in the years ahead, as it has since the founding of the republic. Populism may be out of vogue among enforcement authorities at the moment, but is has been out of vogue before, only to resurge. (Baker and Blumenthal 1986)

Introduction

Resurgence has arrived. It is true that one wins more votes to address business behaviors by narrating a populist discourse rather than by clarifying an economic analysis. If digital disruption has brought about novel business models through platforms and multisided...

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Portuese, A. (2020). Antitrust Populism: Theory. In: Marciano, A., Ramello, G. (eds) Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_770-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_770-1

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