Roger Blair and the Goals of Antitrust
This article examines Roger Blair’s remarkable scholarship concerning the goals of the antitrust laws. Blair has been a consistent advocate of a “general welfare” as opposed to a “consumer welfare” standard for antitrust, but he has also repeatedly observed that the choice of a test makes a difference in only a few cases. His scholarship also uncovered important inconsistencies in antitrust analysis. One is its treatment of bilateral monopoly, in which antitrust often condemns practice that are welfare increasing to the extent that they reflect the presence of countervailing power in bilateral monopoly markets. For example, buyers’ cartels in response to seller market power are unlawful per se even though many are welfare improvements over the existing situation. Consistent with his premise, Blair advocates a strong efficiency defense in merger cases, and shows that the Albrecht rule condemning maximum resale price maintenance is indefensible on both general welfare and consumer welfare grounds.
antitrust, general welfare, bilateral monopoly, mergers, maximum resale price maintenance, comparative competition law
61 Antitrust Bull. 382 (2016)