Joshua Wright on the Antitrust Consensus and Its Discontents
In this episode, Joshua D. Wright, University Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Global Antitrust Institute at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, discusses his article "Requiem for a Paradox: The Dubious Rise and Inevitable Fall of Hipster Antitrust," which he co-authored with Elyse Dorsey, Jan Rybnicek, and Jonathan Klick, and which will be published in the Arizona State Law Journal. Wright begins by describing the prevailing position on the goals of antitrust policy that developed in the late 1970s, and its focus on the consumer welfare standard as the basis for determining when antitrust intervention is justified. He explains how and why this approach became the dominant approach to antitrust policy, and why he thinks it improved antitrust enforcement. He then describes recent criticisms of the prevailing approach, focusing on those presented by the "hipster antitrust" movement, a collection of antitrust scholars that also refer to themselves as "new Brandeisian" or "New Progressive Antitrust." He describes the different kinds of criticisms they offer, and argues that some are more compelling than others. Wright is on Twitter at @ProfWrightGMU.