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Antitrust is a dynamic area of law subject to rapid change. It is highly sensitive to the attitudes of regulators and market conditions, always looking forward to how decisions made today will affect businesses and the lives of individual consumers. Current events — and passionate consumers, or fans — can incur “Swift” antitrust scrutiny, as Live Nation Entertainment discovered recently.

Yet it is inextricably linked to more abstract considerations. The term “antitrust” is itself archaic, reflecting animosity to a business practice innovated by Standard Oil in 1882. Understanding the history of antitrust actions often requires understanding something of history broadly and politics specifically. Finally, applying antitrust law requires some grasp of economic principles such as efficiency, market power, and network effects. One book on the subject begins with the line, “Perhaps no field of law is as dominated by economics as antitrust law.”

With all this in mind, there is simply a lot that may be relevant when working on an antitrust or competition law problem. This column will attempt to point out some helpful resources for practitioners working in this field.


Reproduced with permission.