For the first time in a generation, political pressure is growing to reform antitrust in a considerably more interventionist direction. To the bafflement of many observers, these political pressures are emerging simultaneously from both wings of the political spectrum. Although unconventional in presentist right/left terms, antitrust's ideological ambiguity has longstanding historical roots. This Essay examines three historical friction points that help explain the current political dislocations around antitrust reform: (1) the coupling of ideological aversion to large scale in government and business; (2) the shifting meaning of the word "monopoly," from exclusive governmentally granted privilege to privately obtained market power; and (3) pragmatic concerns that antitrust enforcement is necessary to the survival of the capitalist order.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Date of this Version
Working Paper Citation
Crane, Daniel A., "Antitrust's Unconventional Politics" (2018). Law & Economics Working Papers. 153.