Yesterday was an interesting day in the history of U.S. antitrust.
Five expert witnesses – Prof. Carl Shapiro, Dr. Diana Moss, Prof. Joshua D. Wright, Prof. Tad Lipsky & Barry Lynn – representing the entire political spectrum testified at the Senate regarding the consumer welfare standard. And, it seems that the majority of the witnesses (left and right) with a single exception agreed upon the fact that the consumer welfare standard is the right antitrust analytical standard.
The takeaway of yesterday’s hearing?
Alternatives to the consumer welfare standard are difficult to reconcile with sound antitrust enforcement free of political interference and corporate capture. Hence, because the consumer welfare standard is widely approved, we can move beyond this discussion. As rightly put by Ranking Member Klobuchar, “we don’t need to move away from the framework of the consumer welfare standard.”
Below we summarize the testimony of the five witnesses.