The principal focus of the course is the federal antitrust laws, although common-law antecedents are also considered. The course considers single-firm monopolization; agreements among competitors to restrict competition among themselves (price fixing, division of markets, allocation of customers); price uniformity and other parallel behavior in the absence of agreement; restrictions imposed in agreements among various levels of distribution (resale price maintenance, geographical and other restrictions on resale, exclusive dealing, tying contracts); refusals of business firms to deal with one another; mergers of different companies (horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate); pricing policies (including predatory pricing); and the ways in which new technology challenges the application of traditional antitrust principles.
In addition to case materials, reference is made to economic, social and political readings. Special attention is paid to the economic underpinnings of antitrust laws. No prior knowledge of economics is assumed, but some extra effort may be required of students with no prior economic background.