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Presidential Address: Antitrust restrictions on single-firm strategies

  • Ralph A. Winter

This article offers an overview of selected developments in the law and economics of antitrust regulation of single-firm strategies. The strategy generating the most cases historically is resale price maintenance. Here, the law has moved sharply in both Canada and the U.S. towards more solid economic foundations. Yet a gap between the law and economics remains. The economics of resale price maintenance is reviewed within a framework that is much simpler and more general than the existing literature. The law on a second strategy, predatory pricing, represents in my view a success story for the influence of economic theory in spite of the absence of a single accepted theory of predatory pricing. The remaining single-firm strategies are concerned largely with the exclusion by a dominant firm of rivals from a market. I review, with application to cases, the two most basic questions concerning exclusionary strategies. Are exclusionary, anticompetitive contracts ever entered into voluntarily by market participants? On the other hand, is complete or substantial foreclosure of a market through exclusionary strategies necessarily anticompetitive?

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1207-1239

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:4:p:1207-1239
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