Antitrust Paradox Conference

Corporations, Securities, & Antitrust Practice Group

A Conference Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Honorable Judge Robert Bork's book "The Antitrust Paradox" will take place on June 22nd at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC. Registration is now open.

Opening Remarks 

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Featuring

Hon. Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice 

Panel I: Generational Impact of The Antitrust 

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. ET 

In 1978, Judge Robert Bork published the book The Antitrust Paradox. The Antitrust Paradox has become one of the most influential authorities on antitrust policy, changing the landscape of American antitrust law forever. Since its publication, The Antitrust Paradox has been cited by over 100 different United States courts, and its reasoning has often been adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Bork argued the original intent of the Sherman Act and other American antitrust laws was to protect competition itself rather than consumers. The result of this flawed approach was certain market practices such as vertical integration and price discrimination, which posed no threat to consumers, were still outlawed in favor of competition, even if this competition lead to an overall harm to the consumer. Instead, Judge Bork advocated for a consumer welfare standard, where violations of antitrust law would be measured solely by their affect on consumers. Jude Bork’s articulation of these principles in The Antitrust Paradox had a lasting impact that can be felt in antitrust law to this day.

Featuring: 

Susan Creighton, Partner, Co-Chair, antitrust practice, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati 

Andrew Finch, Principal Deputy Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice

Charles (Rick) Rule, Co-Chair, Antitrust Group, Paul|Weiss 

Hon. Joshua Wright, Executive Director, Global Antitrust Institute, Antonin Scalia Law school 

Moderator: Judge Laurence Silberman, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia 

Luncheon 

12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. ET 

Panel II: Current state-of-play

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET 

In recent years, a new populist movement in antitrust law has been labeled “hipster antitrust,” and its proponents include prominent members of Congress including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. These would-be antitrust revolutionaries oppose using the consumer welfare standard of Judge Bork as the sole policy interest of antitrust law, and instead argue that antitrust law should be used to solve a myriad of far-reaching issues such as income inequality, redistribution of wealth, and political power. Proponents further contend that an overhaul of antitrust law could be used to curb the power and influence of vast companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Are such companies truly becoming too expansive and powerful? Is an overhaul of antitrust law, or revisiting the consumer welfare standard, a necessary or even desirable step in response to such powerful companies?

Featuring: 

Deb Garza, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP 

Dianna Moss, President, American Antitrust Institute 

Hon. Noah Phillips, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission 

Hon. Joshua Wright, Executive Director, Global Antitrust Institute, Antonin Scalia Law School

Moderator: Judge Douglas Ginsburg, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia