Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Antitrust scholars are having fun again. Not so long ago, they were the poor, redheaded stepchildren of the legal academy, either pining for the older days of rigorous antitrust enforcement or trying to kill off what was left of the enterprise. Other law professors felt sorry for them, ignored them, or both. But now antitrust is making a comeback of sorts. In one heady week in May of 2009, a front-page story in the New York Times reported the dramatic decision of Christine Varney-the Obama Administration's new Antitrust Division head at the Department of Justice-to jettison the entire report on monopolization offenses released by the Bush DOJ just eight months earlier. In a speech before the Center for American Progress, Varney announced that the Justice Department is "committed to aggressively pursuing enforcement of Section 2 of the Sherman Act." As if to prove that "shock and awe" enforcement against monopolists is still possible, two days later the European Commission released its decision fining Intel nearly $1.5 billion for beating up on AMD in the microprocessor market. Suddenly, the antitrust community felt an electric current that it hadn't felt for many years.