Top 10 Articles
Alexander R. Cohen
In an effort to avoid fines, Google has proposed concessions to its rivals and European antitrust authorities.
Reuters describes the concessions in a way that seems natural—but it’s worth considering what these concessions actually mean. I’ve commented on two of them; I invite you to consider the others.
April 16, 2013 -- Suppose you and your colleagues want to be paid more. So you make an agreement not to do any more work unless your pay is increased. If you’re unionized laborers, there’s a federal agency that may look after you. But if you’re lawyers with your own offices, taking court appointments to represent poor criminal defendants, there’s a federal agency that may go after you.
April 15, 2013 -- America’s top beer-ocrat goes to the Senate tomorrow.
Regulators have restricted so much finance-related speech that people in the industry now have to lobby for the freedom to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn like the rest of us. Or almost like the rest of us.
Speech regulation can make social networks dangerous for executives in other fields, too. Reed Hastings came under threat for boasting that Netflix had streamed a billion hours of video in one month.
If you think antitrust is about fair competition, take a look at this: Delta and Virgin Atlantic are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation for a free pass to coordinate their U.S.-U.K. flight schedules. It seems such coordination might normally violate antitrust law, but the DOT can waive antitrust law to help certain companies.
When businessmen get involved in policy advocacy, they can help promote the freedom to do business. Yet the impression, fostered by some libertarian intellectuals, that business lobbying tends only to produce special favors for politically connected businesses, can discourage honorable businessmen from participating in the fight for their own freedom. So argues Fred L.