On Oct. 26, Ball Professor of Law Alan Meese participated in a conference at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.
The theme of the conference was "The Goals of Antitrust." Meese presented a paper entitled "Reframing the (False?) Choice Between Purchaser and Total Welfare: Removing the Blinders Imposed By The Partial Equilibrium Tradeoff Model."
The paper contends that debates over the normative content of antitrust law reflect an incomplete understanding of the economic impact of practices that both create efficiencies and raise prices in the relevant market. In particular, the paper shows that antitrust's embrace of the partial equilibrium tradeoff model obscures the fact that new efficiencies free up resources for use elsewhere, thereby increasing output and reducing prices in other markets. As a result, such transactions, while harmful to consumers in the relevant market at a particular point in time, may actually improve the welfare of consumers as a whole.
All of the conference papers will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Fordham Law Review. The following antitrust scholars either presented papers at the conference or will be publishing papers in the conference symposium issue: Jonathan Baker (American University), Roger Blair (University of Florida), Dale Collins (Shearman & Sterling), Einer Elhauge (Harvard), Harry First (New York University), Eleanor Fox (New York University), Judge Douglas Ginsburg (New York University), Herbert Hovenkamp (Iowa), John Kirkwood (Seattle University), William Kovacic (George Washington), Robert Lande (University of Baltimore), Barak Orbach (University of Arizona), George Priest (Yale), Steven Salop (Georgetown), Maurice Stucke (University of Tennessee), and Joshua Wright (George Mason University).
Meese, who served as a senior advisor to the Antitrust Modernization Commission from 2004-2007, is a nationally acclaimed antitrust scholar. Some of his recent articles include:
• Assorted Anti-Leegin Canards: Why Resistance is Misguided and Futile, 40 FLORIDA STATE L. REV. (forthcoming 2013).
• Market Power and Contract Formation: How Outmoded Economic Theory Still Distorts Antitrust Doctrine, 88 NOTRE DAME L. REV. (forthcoming 2012-13).
• Section 2 Enforcement and the Great Recession: Why Less (Enforcement) Might Mean More (GDP), 80 FORDHAM L. REV. 1633 (2012). SSRN.
• Standard Oil as Lochner's Trojan Horse, 85 S. CAL. L. REV. 783 (2012).
• Reframing Antitrust in Light of Scientific Revolution: Accounting for Transaction Costs in Rule of Reason Analysis, 62 HASTINGS L. J. 457 (2010). SSRN.
• Debunking the Purchaser Welfare Account of Section 2 of the Sherman Act: How Harvard Brought Us a Total Welfare Standard and Why We Should Keep It, 85 N.Y.U. L. REV. 659 (2010). SSRN.