Tag: antitrust

2024Technology Law

The Antitrust Alphabet: Amazon, Buy Box, and Competition

Nathaniel DeMelis Eighty-three percent of sales made on Amazon.com come from the “Buy Box” system. This website feature has come under increased scrutiny in the State of California and the United Kingdom. Both jurisdictions have sued Amazon, citing that Amazon’s Buy Box is anticompetitive and harms consumers at large. This Article considers the parallel lawsuits Amazon is facing and examines the different antitrust enforcement mechanisms and policy motivations in both California and the United Kingdom. Ultimately, this Article suggests that the California courts will find the Buy Box to be anticompetitive, due largely to their willingness to diverge from the federal consumer-welfare...
2022Technology Law

Antitrust Implications of the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act

Alisha Parker-Martell The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, proposed in the 117th Congress of the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Eshoo, would improve consumer data protection but would also have negative consequences on market competition in sectors that utilize user data. This Act is indicative of a growing conflict between antitrust policy and consumer data privacy. This essay argues that future federal consumer data privacy legislation should attempt to balance the competing interests of market health and consumer privacy rights by prohibiting exploitative uses of consumer data and mandating consumer data sharing and a period of exclusive use of collected data....
2020Technology Law

A New Understanding of Who Is a Direct Purchaser Based on Apple Inc. v. Pepper

Jacob Mitchell A group of consumers sued Apple in 2011 alleging that Apple had violated antitrust laws through their monopolization of their App Store. In trying to dismiss the suit, Apple asserted that consumers, despite purchasing apps directly from Apple through the App Store, did not have standing to sue them as monopolists because the consumers were actually buying from the app developers. The Supreme Court rejected Apple’s argument in its 2019 ruling in Apple, Inc. v. Pepper. By rejecting Apple’s view, the Supreme Court has expanded consumers’ available remedies by clarifying that consumers that buy directly from a distributor are...
2020Technology Law

Applying Antitrust in Digital Markets: Foundations and Approaches

Mark Jamison This paper analyzes the conflicts that arise when trying to apply traditional antitrust principles in the context of digital markets. Antitrust has both political and economic foundations. The political approach emphasizes populist themes that ultimately harm economic development, whereas economic approaches focus on characterizations of and remedies for market power. Digitization of markets thwarts current antitrust tools by adding complexity and rapid change. Several authors suggest populist approaches for antitrust in digital markets, but these lack rigor and fail to address central challenges. This Article suggests that antitrust should return to its earliest roots and directly address features...
2019Technology Law

Apple Bites Back: An Antitrust Analysis of Qualcomm’s Licensing Practices

Marie Weisfeiler Both Apple and the Federal Trade Commission filed lawsuits against Qualcomm alleging antitrust violations. Specifically, both alleged that Qualcomm used its monopoly power to engage in unfair licensing practices and create an exclusive deal with Apple, in violation of its industry commitment to use fair practices in licensing its patents. This essay compares Qualcomm’s practices to those of Microsoft in 1998, which, because of Microsoft’s restrictive licensing and exclusive deals, were deemed to have violated the Sherman Act. It then considers the implications for licensing, technology, and antitrust law if a similar case is litigated in the future....
2017Technology Law

ISP Regulation and Antitrust: The Case for Better Competition

David Yangli Wang This Note firstly discusses net neutrality and ISP regulations broadly– do we see it as a commerce issue, a government regulation issue, a data fairness issue, or even a human rights issue? And if we decide that ISPs must be regulated, what type of antitrust regulation will be most effective? This Note takes a comparative look at Internet regulations around the world, examining both the development of broadband infrastructures and the antitrust laws (or lack thereof) of such countries. This Note ultimately concludes that the current antitrust regime in the United States will not be able to...

Antitrust Issues in Reverse Payment Settlements: Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. et al., a Case Study

Amanda Creedon In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint alleging that reverse settlement payments were unfair restraints of trade and therefore violated federal antitrust laws. The Supreme Court held that reverse payment settlements in patent infringement litigation are not presumptively unlawful but can sometimes violate antitrust laws, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The settlements are not immune from antitrust attack even if the agreement’s anticompetitive effects fell within the scope of the exclusionary potential of the patent. Read Full Text Here

Digital Copyright, “Fair Access” and the Problem of DRM Misuse

Nicolo Zingales The advent of the digital age and the wide diffusion of copyrighted works over the Internet have brought about a drastic challenge to the pre-existing rules and legal standards governing the exchange of information. This article points out one of the ways the development of these new technologies has altered the boundaries of copyright, specifically by enabling copyright holders to strategically expand the scope of protection through the strategic use of Digital Rights Management (hereinafter, DRM). After a brief overview of these technologies and their contribution to the development of online markets for copyrighted works, the article discusses...