ACCC Chair Rod Sims addresses the RBB Economics Conference regarding the economic foundations of competition law, including the history of competition law, recent challenges to the consumer welfare standard, and the hipster antitrust movement.
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Thank you again for the invitation to speak to you today. As I always say, this is my only purely economics speech each year, and I value it.
Please allow me a little self-indulgence.
I recently had a delightful dinner with someone I have known for over 30 years, who shares my passion for economics and public policy. We discussed the state of economics, among many other things.
I posited that the economics profession had become too mathematical and then, perhaps with the benefit of some delightful Italian red wine, said that to be a good economist all you needed was a deep intuitive feel for around 10–15 concepts. I then rattled some off; he said he would like to get my complete list.
Here goes, in no particular order:
- the invisible hand (As Adam Smith said: 'It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest')
- imperfect competition, given Smith’s invisible hand was about perfect competition (Robinson)
- opportunity cost (Von Wieser)
- comparative advantage (Ricardo)
- general equilibrium analysis (Arrow and Debreu)
- externalities (Pigou)
- economic rent (Ricardo)
- market failure (Bator) and government failure (Coase)
- marginal utility, marginal costs, elasticity of demand (Marshall)
- consumer surplus, producer surplus, total surplus (Marshall)
- creative destruction (Schumpeter)
- align instruments with targets (Tinbergen)
- property rights and transaction costs (Coase)
- information economics (Stiglitz, Spence, Akerlof)
- game theory (von Neumann).
We could spend a lot of fun time debating this list; and admittedly it has a microeconomics bias.
Of course, this list does not do justice to a mountain of more recent work that builds on these fundamental concepts to reveal even deeper insights.
I should also add that I think mathematics is both a beautiful subject and extremely helpful to any economist. I studied pure maths in first year university, albeit not with great distinction.
My point is that understanding mathematics is neither necessary, and it is certainly not sufficient, to being a good economist. Having an intuitive feel for the concepts I have listed is. And, perhaps less maths and more teaching of the history of economic thought would help today’s aspiring economists.
It is one of those concepts, however, from Tinbergen, that I want to focus on today because it is central to a current debate.
This is the debate about the economic foundations of competition law.
In addressing this question, of course, we need to recognise that the ACCC is a consumer, competition and infrastructure regulator. And there is a flow to these roles.
We seek to ensure consumers are not misled, because only then can they can make beneficial choices. They will have poor choices, however, if there is not robust competition. And where competition is not possible, well-designed regulation of monopolies can improve economic outcomes.
I will return to our consumer law role; but for now let us stay purely with competition law.
As you know, for the last few decades there has been broad consensus among those in the global antitrust community that competition law should promote some concept of 'consumer welfare'; that competition law is primarily about making markets work for consumers.
This has also been the position in Australia.
Now, however, the foundations of competition law (or 'antitrust law' as it is called in the US) are being called into question. According to University of Michigan Law Professor Daniel Crane:
Antitrust now stands at its most fluid and negotiable moment in a generation. The bipartisan consensus that antitrust should focus solely on economic efficiency and consumer welfare has quite suddenly come under attack from prominent voices calling for a dramatically enhanced role for antitrust law in mediating a variety of social, economic, and political friction points, including employment, wealth inequality, data privacy and security, and democratic values.1
Here in Australia, we are also seeing some similar questioning of the foundation of competition law. In a recent column in The Australian, John Durie questions whether the ACCC should go beyond traditional competition issues. He asks whether 'the present Australian [competition] rules are providing a sustainable economic future for the country?'2
There is concern that a narrow focus on consumer welfare does not allow competition law enforcers to prosecute the full range of trade practices that competition law should be controlling or, was originally intended to control.
These concerns have particularly arisen in the context of the new economy; the digital platforms that have become such a ubiquitous part of our lives.
They, however, go wider with a number of commentators arguing for a broadening of the objectives of competition law, to include a range of economic and non-economic objectives, such as addressing income inequality, protection of democracy, financial stability ('too big to fail'), protection of media diversity, protection of small business, or promotion of environmental outcomes.
The US antitrust agencies (that is, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)) are calling into question the consumer welfare standard as the foundation of antitrust. For example:
- The FTC recently held a series of hearings on the question of 'whether the consumer welfare standard is adequate to deal with the competitive challenges of the new economy and, if not, whether a new standard or standards should be considered'.
- In a speech in 2016, Renata Hesse the then Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ said that the agency has shifted its language to focus more on the impact of the conduct under question on the competitive process rather than focussing on measuring consumer welfare in an academic fashion.3
I will today discuss some of the issues around this fascinating question of the economic foundation of competition law. This talk has three parts. I will first take a bit of a look at the history of competition law, including the rise of the consumer welfare standard. Then I will look at the recent challenges to the consumer welfare standard and the hipster antitrust movement. Finally, I will provide my own perspective.
I acknowledge immediately that this talk has benefitted enormously from considerable discussion with Daryl Biggar and Graeme Woodbridge at the ACCC. While the talk would not have been possible without their knowledge and insight, they are not to blame for my conclusions.
1. A bit of history
At moments like these, with the foundation of competition law called into question, it is useful to try to discern the original objectives of the creators of competition law. What purpose did the original founders have in mind?
Although competition law principles have been around in common law for a long time, the most important modern milestone in the history of competition law is the US Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.
Senator Sherman himself argued that his bill did not 'announce a new principle of law', but applied 'old and well recognized principles of the common law'. Most US states already had state laws to 'prevent and control combinations within the limit of the state'.
Sherman saw his bill as merely giving similar power to the Federal government and courts.
The US economy at the time of Senator Sherman was undergoing a fundamental transformation. The key disruptive technologies of that time were the railroads and the telegraph. These new technologies greatly expanded the scale of markets, leading to substantial changes in scale in manufacturing sectors and the industrialisation of agriculture.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, the first federal regulatory agency in the US, in charge of regulating railroads, was created just a few years before the Sherman Act.
What did Senator Sherman have in mind when he proposed his Bill? Senator Sherman saw trusts, combinations, and monopolies as self-evidently harmful to trade and commerce. He was concerned about high prices and harm to consumers, yes; but he was also concerned about the ability of trusts to pay low prices to producers.
He was concerned about the concentration of economic power and its power to coerce or extort trading partners, and its power to influence civil government; he was concerned about firms using their economic power to crush competition, through mergers or predatory pricing; and he was concerned about the impact on what we would now call 'small business'.4
For Sherman, the need for such laws was self-evident: the harm from restricting competition and restraint of trade 'must be manifest to every intelligent mind'.
It is not clear that Sherman consulted economists when drafting his Act, or that the laissez-faire economists of that era would have been very impressed if he did. For Sherman, the evils of trusts were plain to see.
Following the passage of the Act, the US Department of Justice had some early wins, including the break up of Standard Oil (1911), and mandating access to essential facilities in US v Terminal Railroad Association (1912). A new government agency to enforce antitrust laws (the Federal Trade Commission) was established in 1914.
When businesses discovered that they could get around the Sherman Act prohibition on trusts simply by merging, Congress responded with the 1914 Clayton Act to control mergers and prohibit forms of price discrimination.
Arguably, with the passage of the Clayton Act all of the modern elements of competition law were in place.
Not long after the Sherman Act passed, legislators in Australia enacted their own version of antitrust law. The strangely-named Australian Industries Preservation Act (with the subtitle: 'An Act for the Preservation of Australian Industries, and for the depression of Destructive Monopolies') was passed in 1906. The Act was similar to the Sherman Act in that it sought to prohibit monopolisation and other activities which restrained interstate trade or damaged Australian industries by unfair competition.5
Unfortunately, the main provisions of the Act were subsequently held to be unconstitutional a couple of years later, in 1909. It took a further 60 years for Australia to enact an alternative competition law, modelled on the British Trade Practices Act.
Over the 80 years following the passing of the Sherman Act, the US Courts decided a wide range of antitrust cases and developed a substantial body of jurisprudence. But there was increasing unease, especially from economists at the University of Chicago that the case law had no discernible organising principle and had therefore become unpredictable, a playroom for judicial discretion, or a magnet for the transient or populist political concerns of the day.
In 1961 Alan Greenspan (later famous as Chairman of the US Federal Reserve) criticised antitrust law on the grounds that:
It is a world in which the law is so vague that businessmen have no way of knowing whether specific actions will be declared illegal until they hear the judge's verdict — after the fact.6
Greenspan went on to say:
The entire structure of antitrust statutes in this country is a jumble of economic irrationality and ignorance … the very existence of those undefinable statutes and contradictory case law inhibits businessmen from undertaking what would otherwise be sound productive ventures. No one will ever know what new products, processes, machines, and cost-saving mergers failed to come into existence, killed by the Sherman Act before they were born.7
A few years later Robert Bork articulated the same problems in his famous 1978 book, The Antitrust Paradox. Judge Bork was a Yale Law School professor who was educated at, and heavily influenced by, the University of Chicago.
Bork also saw antitrust law as a jumble of conflicting precedents with no clear rational basis. For Bork, there was a desperate need to place antitrust law on a sound and rational footing. He saw the problem as a lack of clarity over the underlying objectives:
Antitrust policy cannot be made rational until we are able to give a firm answer to one question: What is the point of the law – what are its goals? Everything else follows from the answer we give ... Only when the issue of goals has been settled is it possible to frame a coherent body of substantive rules.8
Bork proposed that the underlying objective of competition law could be found in textbook microeconomic theory and, in particular, in the concept of consumer welfare. In fact, Bork argued at length that consumer welfare was the sole and original intent of the founders of antitrust law.
Economists have since pointed out that Bork was not entirely clear whether he was talking about total economic welfare or consumer welfare. There is still some debate in the competition community about whether competition authorities should pursue total welfare or consumer welfare. I will come back to this issue.
In any case, whatever Bork intended, a consensus was quickly reached that competition policy should be about consumer welfare (not total welfare). Under this approach, the pre-eminent consideration in the assessment of a competition issue is the effect on downstream consumers. If consumers benefit from the practice, it should presumptively be permitted. If consumers are harmed, the practice should be presumed to be unlawful.
Bork’s hypothesis struck an immediate chord. Bork was correct that there was a need for an organising principle or single unifying standard to harmonise and reconcile antitrust decisions. Antitrust practitioners and courts willingly, and perhaps uncritically, adopted Bork’s consumer welfare standard.
Within a couple of years the US Supreme Court declared that the Congress designed the Sherman Act as a 'consumer welfare prescription'.
It only took a few more years for the consumer welfare standard to become the dominant intellectual paradigm for competition law theory and practice around the world. The consensus around this approach was, with hindsight, striking. Throughout the next few decades the consumer welfare standard essentially reigned supreme in antitrust thinking around the world. In 2005, Neelie Kroes, EU Competition Commissioner observed:
Consumer welfare is now well established as the standard the Commission applies when assessing mergers and infringements of the Treaty rules on cartels and monopolies. Our aim is simple: to protect competition in the market as a means of enhancing consumer welfare and ensuring an efficient allocation of resources.9
Surveys of competition authorities from the first decade of the 21st century show that the vast majority of competition enforcers around the world articulated something like a consumer welfare standard as the primary objective of competition law.10
I should add, however, that the last quote mentions 'an efficient allocation of resources', which suggests application also of a total welfare standard. As I said earlier, I will return to this point later.
2. The hipster antitrust movement
Despite this overwhelming international consensus around the consumer welfare standard as the foundation of competition law, the consumer welfare standard is now being called into question.
The present debate seems to have been sparked by an article by a young US lawyer, published in the Yale Law Journal. In that article Lina Khan focuses on Amazon and argues that certain anticompetitive practices which, she alleges, are being carried out by Amazon, would not be captured by the consumer welfare standard.
According to Khan, the consumer welfare standard may blind us to genuinely harmful practices.
Khan’s article saw a new round of debate which was jokingly given the name 'hipster antitrust'. In a matter of months there have been conferences, themed journals, and public hearings on the topic of hipster antitrust.
Suddenly some commentators are calling for a broader range of considerations to be taken into account.
Lawyer Konstantin Medvedovsky, who coined the term 'hipster antitrust', argues that, although the term is new, the issues predate the term and have been building for some time.
In other words, this is a new face on an old debate.
At its heart, the hipster antitrust movement is a critique of the consumer welfare standard. The adherents of this movement point to what they see as three major criticisms of the consumer welfare standard.
First, there are arguments from history. Many commentators have argued that it is very difficult to squeeze the apparent intention of the original framers of competition law into a 'consumer welfare' box.
This argument from history seems to me to be convincing.
Senator Sherman and his colleagues were concerned about the impact of trusts and combinations not just on consumers downstream, but also on farmers and other small businesses upstream.
It does not appear that you can shoehorn the objectives of the original founders into a consumer welfare standard without doing an injustice to the legislative history.
Whether or not Robert Bork was right to argue that consumer welfare should be the objective of consumer law, it appears that Bork was wrong to argue that consumer welfare was the original intent of the creators of competition law.
Second, there are arguments from competition law practice. We don’t have to look very hard to observe that competition authorities around the world do not, in practice, behave as though narrow or short-term consumer welfare is their only or primary concern. For example, competition authorities routinely take action to oppose mergers affecting the buyer side of the market; that is, a merger to monopsony, regardless of the impact on prices to consumers downstream.
Third, there are concerns that the drawbacks of the consumer welfare standard are becoming more apparent in the new economy. Around the world there is increasing competition concern about the rise of a new type of dominant firm — digital platforms with a dominant position in their market, such as Amazon, Google, or Facebook.
There is increasing concern that these players are large enough to control access to the market, or to distort normal competitive processes; but some argue it is not clear that this behaviour can be picked up through a narrow focus on consumer welfare.
Whether or not you consider Amazon to be a bottleneck, it does not seem to have resulted in higher prices to consumers. Does this mean that, under the consumer welfare standard, Amazon should get a free pass under the competition law?
So, this brings us to where we are today. I think we can summarise the debate as follows:
On the one side are those who argue that competition law was never just about consumer welfare, and to say that it should be is to deny the legislative history and the decisions of competition authorities around the world.
The proponents of this perspective argue, moreover, that the focus on the consumer welfare standard risks closing our eyes and minds to genuinely harmful commercial practices, and that these risks are becoming more pronounced with the rise of dominant digital platforms.
On the other side of the debate are those who argue that the consumer welfare standard has played a fundamentally important role in providing a consistent, rational standard for competition law decisions, placing competition law on a sound theoretical footing and rescuing it from confusion, inconsistency, unpredictability and populism. Some scholars have argued that without a rational foundation antitrust law 'did more harm than good'.
In a recent paper a number of academics and practitioners have struck back asserting:
From the perspective of antitrust professionals and academics, the consumer welfare revolution in antitrust saved an incoherent doctrine from its own internal inconsistencies and saved consumers from its perverse and paradoxical results.11
Proponents of this side argue that the consumer welfare standard can adapt to new challenges and, most importantly, that the critics of the consumer welfare standard have failed to articulate a practical alternative.
3. My views
So where does this leave us?
First, I want to be clear that I am opposed to introducing broader public interest considerations into the core of competition law enforcement.
As I said earlier, this renewed questioning of the economic foundation of competition law has led to calls to expand the range of considerations in competition law, to include both broader economic considerations (such as income inequality, low wage growth, or unemployment) and non-economic considerations (such as concentrations of political power, financial stability, media diversity, or environmental protection).
In my view, it is inadvisable and counterproductive to import these considerations into the core of competition law. Competition law is enforced by an independent authority, not by elected officials, so the objectives must be clear. Competition law and policy should be first and foremost about protecting and promoting competition for the welfare of consumers.
This gets back to the Tinbergen Rule; if you have two targets you want to achieve in public policy, you generally need two instruments.
Competition, income inequality, media diversity and environmental protection are all legitimate public policy objectives, but they each require their own particular policy instrument (environmental laws, for example). It is bad public policy to attempt to achieve these goals with the single instrument of competition or consumer policy.
I have recently invoked the Tinbergen Rule in another context that well illustrates the point.
Some say the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) could deliver lower emissions, improved reliability and address affordability; all in one.
This makes no sense!
Few realise that the NEG was in fact two instruments; one focussed on reduced emissions, the other on improved reliability.
It may have had benefits for affordability, but it was not focused on it.
The NEG is a great example of the Tinbergen Rule; two instruments for two objectives. It is a separate question whether they were the two best instruments.
Of course, the NEG may have helped improve affordability; it is just that it was not targeted at this, and could only make a modest contribution.
This is easy to prove. The NEG did nothing, for example, to address network or some particular excessive green scheme costs, did not seek to promote competition, and did not seek to address consumers facing a huge cost if they did not pay their bills on time.
The ACCC’s Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry report was solely focussed on affordability. I still hope all governments maintain a focus not just on emission reduction and reliability, but also on affordability, and so adopt our key recommendations. We will keep advocating for this.
So just because an instrument targeted at one objective can benefit another objective is no reason not to have separate instruments for these other objectives.
Media diversity is an example of this, and so is income distribution.
Properly applied competition law should go well beyond price effects and so can significantly assist media diversity, but they are not the same things; they are not completely overlapping sets.
I strongly believe that properly applied competition law can greatly assist income distribution; but this is a significant side benefit. We are not solving for income distribution and there are much better instruments to use to do this (such as the tax and welfare systems).
Having made that observation, let’s turn to the central critique offered by hipster antitrust; that competition law should, or does, seek to promote something broader than the narrow consumer welfare perspective.
Just to be clear what I mean: a consumer welfare standard would make a judgement as to whether or not a particular merger or practice was anticompetitive, exclusively on the basis of the impact on downstream consumers.
One way to summarise this simply is as follows: if consumers are better off (or at least not worse off) the action is presumptively legal; on the other hand, if consumers are worse off the action is presumptively anticompetitive.
There is no doubt that much of competition law practice in Australia, as in other countries, is consistent with the promotion of this form of consumer welfare. For example, when it comes to merger review, we have stated in our Merger Guidelines that we will generally not approve a merger if it enables the merged firm to significantly and sustainably raise prices to downstream customers, or to a significant sub-group of customers.
Much of what we do at the ACCC is consistent with the notion that we are promoting the welfare of Australian consumers.
Some would argue, however, that our competition law enforcement in Australia cannot be entirely shoehorned into a narrow consumer welfare standard.
For example, without a divestment undertaking, we would likely have opposed Murray Goulburn’s (2014) proposed acquisition of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter on grounds it would have reduced competition (and lowered prices) for the acquisition of raw milk from farmers.
The ACCC will take action to protect upstream firms, whether they are farmers, small businesses, or even large businesses against anti-competitive mergers and harmful trade practices.
But this raises the question: Can we neatly summarise or articulate what we do within a single economic framework?
There are many economists who argue that competition enforcers such as the ACCC should adopt a 'total welfare' standard. That is, to seek to promote something like total economic surplus; the sum of producers’ surplus and consumers’ surplus.
According to this view, the ACCC should be making decisions as to whether or not an infrastructure service should be declared, whether or not to approve a merger, or whether or not a particular trade practice has the effect of substantially lessening competition, on the basis of whether or not the behaviour maximises total economic welfare.
As an economist, I am sympathetic with this approach. The concept of total welfare or total surplus is strongly grounded in economic theory and widely used in public policy. It seems natural that competition law enforcement should apply the same standard.
But, although I agree with the use of a total welfare standard in principle, I am not at all comfortable with the way that standard is applied in practice.
Specifically, some economists when applying the total welfare standard have a static model in mind. In assessing the economic harm from the exercise of market power they endeavour to measure the impact of the conduct on consumer surplus and producer surplus and take the difference. Using this approach, the focus tends to be on the effect of the conduct on the immediate level of economic activity, or the short-run deadweight loss.
If there is risk that monopoly pricing may reduce economic activity, the argument often evolves to whether or not the monopolist can perfectly price discriminate to prevent this occurring.
Should the ACCC focus exclusively on whether or not a merger or a potentially anticompetitive practice is likely to result in a reduction in economic activity in the short run?
If there is no reduction in economic activity in the short run, should the merger or practice be approved, regardless of the impact on prices downstream or upstream?
That doesn’t seem right to me. Not just because it feels wrong, but because there could be real economic effects.
Let’s suppose, for example, that a dairy farmer spends hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading her milking equipment. Now suppose that all of the milk processing firms within a reasonable distance merge into one.
The merging parties might argue that they will not lower the farmgate price of milk so much as to force the farmer to switch out of dairying. Even though the farm gate milk price will be lower as a result of the merger, and processing margins will rise, the merging parties might demonstrate that the farmer will go on milking as many cows as before.
A narrow focus on deadweight loss would say that, since there is no reduction in economic activity there is no economic harm, and the merger should be allowed. But this is poor economic analysis. If such mergers are legal the farmer may be reluctant to invest in the first place, or to reinvest, and the economy would forego valuable investment and future milk production.
This is a real economic harm which arises whether or not the dairy company is able to perfectly price discriminate.
These arguments have recently arisen in the context of the economic regulation of infrastructure. For example, as I have observed in the past, the National Competition Council in assessing whether or not the Port of Newcastle should be declared, observed that the port was able to effectively perfectly price discriminate between its customers (the coal mines) and therefore, even if it raised prices substantially, it would do so in a way which ensured there would be no reduction in coal volume through the port.
Whether or not the port could price discriminate in this way, which I strongly doubt, I think we can be fairly sure that the threat of further price rises will have the effect of chilling investment in mines upstream. That is a real economic harm that is easily overlooked in a narrow and flawed focus on deadweight loss.
Going back the other way, however, a fascinating issue may arise in the area of online shopping. I believe in allowing competitive businesses the freedom to decide how to price their products. But new technology allows for the collection of information about customers that retailers in the past could only dream of.
There is a real possibility that digital platforms in the future will be able to exploit their data and position to price as to extract all or most of the consumer surplus and transfer this to producers, and take a large cut on the way through. Such behaviour might see no reduction in economic activity in the short term. But consumers will clearly be worse off.
I said earlier that I would return to the ACCC’s consumer law role. This law has provisions dealing with misleading conduct, unconscionable conduct and unfair contract terms all, I hasten to add, in the context of commerce and carrying on business.
I strongly believe consumer law and competition law are equally important in making markets work for consumers. It does this with legal provisions that go to the heart of consumer welfare, but not through a competition lens.
Consumer law draws on broader concepts, particularly unfairness. Indeed, there is a genuine debate to be had as to whether consumer law should be expanded to include a general prohibition on unfair conduct, albeit qualified to deal with significant harm in a commercial context.
It is often said that there is no issue for the ACCC when there is no apparent breach of competition law. This ignores two things.
First, we are also the enforcer of consumer law, and we are as active against large companies as any agency in the world in relation to this.
Second, we now have an active market studies role where we examine how effectively markets are working in a sector. We are very interested in behaviour that flows from market power and weak competition, even if there is no apparent breach of competition law.
We at the ACCC believe in the power of competition to deliver good outcomes for consumers and for the Australian economy. Virtually all of what the ACCC does fits neatly within a framework of promoting consumer welfare and making markets work for consumers.
As I have said, however, the ACCC has, from time to time, taken action to protect upstream suppliers, including farmers and small businesses from anticompetitive mergers and harmful trade practices.
I could reasonably argue that often small businesses should be treated as consumers, but this does not dispose of the issue.
The truth is the ACCC seeks to make markets work for consumers. This is our objective.
If consumers are to be harmed by laws we can enforce, we will act, and strongly.
But I accept that some of our actions could be seen as more to do with using a sensible approach to a total welfare standard, such as many of our infrastructure decisions, and a small number of our merger and enforcement decisions where we act to prevent more general economic harm.
I do not see this, however, as an aberration.
In making markets work for consumers our approach across all our work is to first examine the effect of conduct on consumers in downstream markets. Having done this, however, if we see economic harm, even though there is no immediate or direct consumer harm, we will act to ensure markets work effectively and in those circumstances employ a total welfare standard to guide us.
To conclude, the current debate about the foundation of competition law is valuable and intellectually important, but it will not change what we at the ACCC do.
This does not mean we will not be vocal advocates for any need for change in the law given evolving circumstances or judicial interpretation. It does mean that our objective is clear.
Thank you for your time today.
 Crane, Daniel A., 'Antitrust's Unconventional Politics' (2018). Law & Economics Working Papers. 153. https://repository.law.umich.edu/law_econ_current/153
 John Durie, 'Should Sims go beyond competition issues?' The Australian, September 21, 2018.
 For Sherman: 'It is the right of every man to work, labour, and produce in any lawful vocation and to transport his production on equal terms and conditions and under like circumstances'.
 Alan Greenspan, Based on a paper given at the Antitrust Seminar of the National Association of Business Economists, Cleveland, September 25, 1961. Published by Nathaniel Branden Institute, New York, 1962. Reprinted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, edited by Ayn Rand, New York: Signet, 1967, pp. 64 – 71.
 Bork, Robert H. (1978). The Antitrust Paradox. New York: Free Press.
 Neelie Kroes, 'European Competition Policy – Delivering Better Markets and Better Choices', European Consumer and Competition Day, London, 15 September 2005.
 International Competition Network, 'Report on Competition Enforcement and Consumer Welfare', 2011.
 Joshua D. Wright, Elyse Dorsey, Jonathan Kick, Jan M. Rybnicek, 'Requiem for a Paradox: The Dubious Rise and Inevitable Fall of Hipster Antitrust', 14 September 2018.