Antitrust Law

B729 is taught by K. Dau-Schmidt, D. Knebel, S. Wallace

The antitrust laws are statutes enacted with the goal of promoting free and unrestrained competition among businesses in order to assure the lowest prices and highest quality to consumers. Although the basic goals of the antitrust laws are reasonably clear, their application to specific situations is often much less so because the statutes themselves are short and written in cryptic language that has required a great amount of interpretation by courts. That interpretation has been affected by political and economic considerations that have changed over time. Every attorney with business clients needs to know about the antitrust laws to help those clients avoid the often draconian penalties for violating them. Attorneys representing consumers need to know how to use the antitrust laws on behalf of those consumers. Consequently, the course will seek to develop an understanding not only of the specific rules applicable to business activities but also to understanding the legal and economic principles that underlie those rules so that practitioners, even if they do not concentrate their practices in this area, are able to identify possible antitrust issues. This course will also look at the application of the antitrust laws to specific business activities, including horizontal and vertical price fixing, mergers and joint ventures, monopolies and predatory practices, price discrimination, tying arrangements, restrictions on customers and anti-competitive litigation.