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The evolvability of business and the role of antitrust

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  • Ian Wilkinson

    (The University of Sydney)

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    Abstract

    In this paper, based on theories of complex adaptive systems, I argue that the main case for antitrust policy should be extended to include the criteria of "evolvability." To date, the main case focuses on economizing, including market power as a key filter for identifying suspect cases. Both production and transaction costs are considered as part of economizing and other factors are use to consider the benefits of different industry structures. CAS analysis focuses attention on dynamics, evolution and networks. As I will show, the criteria of evolvability requires us to consider various types of direct and indirect network impacts in business that go beyond the traditional focus on production and transaction costs. These network impacts stem from the connections between transactions and relations over time and place, including how business arrangements at one time, limit or enable arrangements in the future. An assessment of the impacts, I argue, can and should be included in the rules of antitrust and in the processes of antitrust case analysis and decision making.

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    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.1311
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1203.1311.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2012
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    Publication status: Published in Ian Wilkinson "The Evolvability of Business and the Role of Antitrust" Antitrust Bulletin 51 (1) 2006, 111-141
    Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1203.1311

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    Web page: http://arxiv.org/

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