Two competing visions dominate the fields of antitrust and consumer protection: neo-liberal and progressive. The neo-classical approach is associated with Robert Bork and the Law and Economics Movement. The progressive strand is older, identified with Brandeis and early 20th Century social reform. As a matter of chronology the Brandeisian view dominated into the 1970s, but from 1980, until recently, the Borkian law and economics approach has been in ascendancy in Congress, the academy, and in the courts. Technological change and events in the broader economy have caused the politics and the academic focus to shift. The financial crisis of 2008-09 drew attention to how pathologies of consumer credit markets could create systemic risk, even (indeed especially) in markets that appeared to be competitive. Internet platforms and so-called “fintech” have reshaped our ideas about market power and its interrelationship with political power. The articles in this symposium volume look deeply at the effect technology has had on consumer transactions, at the politics of antitrust, and at the institutions that regulate and respond to these changes in the marketplace. The Articles in this symposium can be divided in to three groups. The first group look at the effect of financial technology and internet platforms on consumer transactions, highlighting the limits of consumer protection available to purchasers of cars and other consumer goods over internet platforms. The second group looks to antitrust law and considers how both income inequality and technology have changed the political economy of antitrust. Third, the last Article by Anne Fleming takes a historical look at the institutional question of enforcement through litigation.
Edward J. Janger,
SYMPOSIUM: CONSUMER WELFARE MARKET STRUCTURE AND POLITICAL POWER,
15 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L.
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/bjcfcl/vol15/iss1/1
Antitrust and Trade Regulation Commons, Bankruptcy Law Commons, Business Organizations Law Commons, Commercial Law Commons, Consumer Protection Law Commons, Internet Law Commons, Tax Law Commons, Torts Commons