Abstract

he Supreme Court’s decision in Ohio v. American Express last week demonstrates the inadequacy of antitrust’s consumer welfare standard, which limits enforcers to challenging only anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. Under that standard, the Court could not condemn Amex’s blatantly anticompetitive limits on the ability of merchants to encourage consumers to use less expensive credit cards because the limits sapped the bargaining power of one level of the supply chain (merchants) in their negotiations with another (a credit card company), but did not obviously harm consumers. What antitrust needs is a standard that protects the bargaining power of Americans from anticompetitive practices used against them in each of the roles Americans occupy in their economic lives, not just the role of consumer.

Document Type

Commentary

Publication Date

7-2-2018

Notes/Citation Information

Ramsi A. Woodcock, Ohio v. Amex, Supply Chain Fairness, and the Inadequacy of Antitrust's Consumer Welfare Standard, Pro-Market: The Blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (July 2, 2018), at https://www.promarket.org/2018/07/02/ohio-v-amex-supply-chain-fairness-inadequacy-antitrusts-consumer-welfare-standard/.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.