Economists INK: Winter 2021
This issue considers the European Commission’s (“EC”) new initiatives for digital platforms, the recent appeals court decisions in the Qualcomm and Unwired Planet cases, and the new antitrust book by John Kwoka. Jéssica Dutra discusses the EC’s recently proposed Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, including the criteria proposed to determine whether a platform is a “gatekeeper.” Robert D. Stoner indicates that the twin decisions regarding Qualcomm and Unwired Planet appear to bring trans-Atlantic decision making on issues of FRAND obligations in a standard setting environment closer together than has been the case for some time. Dr. Stoner further notes that these decisions recognize recent legal and economic understandings that apply a more balanced approach to defining FRAND obligations. Robert A. Arons discusses John Kwoka’s new book Controlling Mergers and Market Power: A Program for Reviving Antitrust in America. Dr. Arons indicates that Dr. Kwoka makes policy recommendations based on several facts highlighted in the book. However, Dr. Arons cautions that a full consideration of the economic literature suggests that there are counterfactual examples that may lead to different competitive outcomes than those highlighted by Dr. Kwoka.