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13 antitrust and regulation


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13 antitrust and regulation

  1. 1. Chapter 13Antitrust and Regulation • Key Concepts • Summary • Practice Quiz • Internet Exercises ©2000 South-Western College Publishing 1
  2. 2. In this chapter, you will learn to solve these economic puzzles: Can is market failure universities water Why doesn’t the and colleges orrationale improve company electric an economic engaging education by company compete? forprice-fixing? in regulation? 2
  3. 3. What is a Trust?A combination or cartel consisting of firms that place their assets in the custody of a board of trustees 3
  4. 4. What is Predatory Pricing?The practice of one or more firms temporarily reducing prices in order to eliminate competition and then raising prices 4
  5. 5. When was the age of the Robber Barons?In the later part of the 1800’s 5
  6. 6. What was done to limit the power of Trusts?Congress passed laws aimed at preventing firms from engaging in anticompetitive activities 6
  7. 7. What is the Sherman Act?The federal antitrust law enacted in 1890 that prohibits monopolization and conspiracies to restrain trade 7
  8. 8. What is the Clayton Act? A 1914 amendment that strengthens the Sherman Act by making it illegal for firms to engage in certain anticompetitive business practices 8
  9. 9. What business practices were declared illegalunder the Clayton Act? • Price discrimination • Exclusive dealing • Tying contracts • Stock acquisition of competing companies • Interlocking directorates 9
  10. 10. Was the Clayton Act animprovement over the Sherman Act?Although more specific than the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act is also vague 10
  11. 11. What is the FederalTrade Commission Act?The federal act that in 1914 established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate unfair competitive practices of firms 11
  12. 12. What is theRobinson-Patman Act? A 1936 amendment to the Clayton Act that strengthens the Clayton Act against price discrimination 12
  13. 13. What is the basic purpose of the Robinson-Patman Act?To prevent large sellers from offering different prices to different buyers where the effect is to harm even a single small firm 13
  14. 14. What is the Celler-Kefauver Act?A 1950 amendment to the Clayton Act that prohibits one firm from merging with a competitor by purchasing its physical assets if the effect is to substantially lessen competition 14
  15. 15. What are some key Antitrust cases?• Standard Oil Case 1911• Alcoa Case 1945• IBM Case 1982• AT&T Case 1982• MIT Case 1992• Microsoft Case 1995 15
  16. 16. What was the outcome ofthe Standard Oil Case? The Rule of Reason 16
  17. 17. What is the Rule of Reason?The antitrust doctrine that the existence of monopoly alone is not illegal unless the monopoly engages in illegal business practices 17
  18. 18. What was the outcome of the Alcoa Case? The Per se Rule 18
  19. 19. What is the Per se Rule?The antitrust doctrine that the existence of monopoly alone is illegal, regardless of whether or not the monopoly engages in illegal business practices 19
  20. 20. What was the result of the IBM Case? A switch back to the Rule of Reason 20
  21. 21. What was the result of the AT&T Case?Technology made this government-regulated natural monopoly obsolete, and AT&T was found guilty of anticompetitive pricing 21
  22. 22. What was the result of the MIT Case?Eight Ivy League schools agreed to stop colluding to fix prices, and MIT was found guilty of price fixing 22
  23. 23. What was the result of the Microsoft Case?Microsoft was not allowed to purchase Intuit Inc., a competitor in the personal finance software industry 23
  24. 24. How can firms avoidcharges of Price Fixing? They can merge into one company 24
  25. 25. When did a lot of Mergers begin taking place? In the 1980’s 25
  26. 26. What are the different types of Mergers? • Horizontal • Vertical • Conglomerate 26
  27. 27. What is aHorizontal Merger?A merger of firms that competes in the same market 27
  28. 28. What is aVertical Merger?A merger of a firm with its suppliers 28
  29. 29. What is aConglomerate Merger?A merger between firms in unregulated markets 29
  30. 30. What can be said aboutConglomerate Mergers? They are generally allowed because they do not significantly decrease competition 30
  31. 31. What can be saidabout Antitrust Laws in other Countries? They are weak in comparison to U.S. antitrust laws 31
  32. 32. What is the history ofGovernment Regulation? From the later part of the 1800’s to the 1970’s, there was an increase in regulation; in the 1970’s there was a movement away from regulation 32
  33. 33. What is the basic argument in favor ofGovernment Regulation? Market failure 33
  34. 34. In what ways does the Market Fail? • Natural monopoly • Externalities • Imperfect information 34
  35. 35. What is a Natural Monopoly?An industry in which long- run average cost is minimized when only one firm serves the market 35
  36. 36. What isMarginal Cost Pricing?A system of pricing in which the price charged equals the marginal cost of the last unit produced 36
  37. 37. P Regulated Monopoly$50 Fair return price efficient price$40$30 A$25$20 B$15 LRAC$10 $5 MR C LRMC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 D9 Q 8 37
  38. 38. What is a Normal Profit?The accounting profit required to induce a firm’s owners to employ their resources in the firm 38
  39. 39. Do Production Costs include Normal Profit?Yes, because normal profit is considered a necessary expense of a business 39
  40. 40. What kind of Profit is made at the Fair Return Price? Normal Profit 40
  41. 41. What happens when Pollution is present?Pollution causes polluting firms to overproduce, while causing firms that pay the cost of cleaning up the pollution to underproduce 41
  42. 42. What can be done when the Externality of Pollution is present? The government can regulate the industry to minimize the pollution 42
  43. 43. What happens withImperfect Information?Deficient information on unsafe products can cause consumers to overconsume a product 43
  44. 44. P Impact of Imperfect Information$20 E1 S$15 E2$10 D1$5 D2 25 50 75 100 Q 44
  45. 45. Decrease in quantity supplied Increase in DemandConsumersinformed of defect 45
  46. 46. Key Concepts 46
  47. 47. Key Concepts• What is a Trust?• What is Predatory Pricing?• What is the Sherman Act?• What is the Clayton Act?• What is the Federal Trade Commission Act?• What is the Robinson-Patman Act?• What is the Celler-Kefauver Act?• What is the Rule of Reason?• What is the Per se Rule? 47
  48. 48. Key Concepts cont.• What are the different types of Mergers?• What is a Horizontal Merger?• What is a Vertical Merger?• What is a Conglomerate Merger?• What can be said about Antitrust Laws in other• What is a Natural Monopoly?• What happens when Pollution is present?• What happens with Imperfect Information? 48
  49. 49. Summary 49
  50. 50. A trust is a cartel that places theassets of competing companies in thecustody of a board of trustees. Duringthe last decades of the 19th century,trusts engaged in anticompetitivestrategies to eliminate competition andraise prices, such as predatory pricing. 50
  51. 51. The Sherman Act of 1890 and theClayton Act of 1914 are the two mostimportant antitrust laws. The ShermanAct marked the first attempt of the U.S.government to outlaw monopolizingbehavior. Because this act was vague, theClayton Act was passed to defineanticompetitive behavior more precisely. 51
  52. 52. The Clayton Act prohibited (1)price discrimination, (2) exclusivedealing, (3) tying contracts, (4)stock acquisition, and (5)interlocking directorates. 52
  53. 53. The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936strengthened the Clayton Act byprohibiting certain forms of pricediscrimination. This law is called the“Chain Store Act” because it wasaimed at large retail chain stores thatwere obtaining volume discounts. 53
  54. 54. The Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950strengthened the Clayton Act declaringillegal the acquisition of the assets ofone firm by another firm if the effect isto lessen competition. 54
  55. 55. The rule of reason and the per serule are the two main philosophies thecourts have used in interpretingantirust law. Under the rule of reason,monopolist were not subject toprosecution unless they acted in ananticompetitive manner. 55
  56. 56. The Supreme Court decision in theAlcoa case of 1945 replaced the rule ofreason with the per se rule, whichstates that the mere existence ofmonopoly is illegal. Today, the trend isin favor of dominant firms because ofinternational competition. 56
  57. 57. A horizontal merger is a merger oftwo competing firms. A verticalmerger is a merger of two firms whereone produces an input used by theother firm. A conglomerate merger is amerger of two firms producingunrelated products. 57
  58. 58. Deregulation is a movement thatbegan in the1980’s to eliminateregulations primarily in thetransportation and telecommunicationsindustries. Today, the current trend istoward further deregulation resultingfrom federal budget cuts. 58
  59. 59. Marginal cost pricing is acompetitive pricing strategy for aregulated natural monopoly. Using thisapproach, regulators set themonopolist’s price equal to itsmarginal cost. Another method is forregulators to establish a fair-returnprice equal to long-run average costand the monopolist earns zeroeconomic profit. 59
  60. 60. Regulation of a natural monopolyis justified on the basis of marketfailure. Two other cases based onmarket failure include externalities andimperfect information. 60
  61. 61. P Regulated Monopoly$50 Fair return price efficient price$40$30 A$25$20 B$15 LRAC$10 $5 MR C LRMC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 D9 Q 8 61
  62. 62. Chapter 13 Quiz ©2000 South-Western College Publishing 62
  63. 63. 1. Which of the following is illegal under the Sherman Act? a. Attempts to monopolize. b. Price fixing. c. Formation of cartels. d. All of the above are illegal.D. The Sherman Act of 1890 is the federal antitrust law to curb trusts, but the federal government did not win a notable case until 1911. 63
  64. 64. 2. Officers of five large building-materials companies meet and agree that none of them will submit bids on government contracts lower than an agreed-upon level. This is an example of a. price fixing. b. vertical restriction. c. a tying contract. d. an interlocking directorate.A. The Sherman Act was enacted with vague language, but price fixing is clearly a “conspiracy in restraint of trade”. 64
  65. 65. 3. A fabric shop cannot sell Singer sewing machines if it also sells other brands of sewing machines. This is an example of a. a resale price maintenance. b. territorial restrictions. c. a tying agreement. d. exclusive dealing.D. If the effect is to “substantially lessen competition” such as an agreement between a manufacturer and a retailer is a violation of the Clayton Act of 1914. 65
  66. 66. 4. Under the Clayton Act, horizontal mergers by stock acquisition were a. not considered. b. illegal if they could be shown to lessen competition. c. illegal under any circumstances. d. legal if they could be shown to lessen competition.B. Horizontal mergers are combinations among competitors in the same industry which, if allowed, eliminate existing competition. 66
  67. 67. 5. Under the Clayton Act, which of the following was illegal even if it was not shown to lessen competition substantially? a. Price discrimination. b. Tying contracts. c. Horizontal mergers by stock acquisition. d. Interlocking directorates. D. Interlocking directorates is the situation in which a director of one company serves on the board of directors of a competing company. 67
  68. 68. 6. The importance of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 is that it a. set up an independent antitrust agency with the power to investigate complaints. b. strengthened the law against mergers. c. strengthened the law against price discrimination.. d. none of the above.A. The FTC Act of 1914 established a five- member commission appointed by the president to investigate “unfair methods of competition.” 68
  69. 69. 7. Which of the following is concerned primarily with price discrimination? a. The Sherman Act. b. The Clayton Act. c. The Robinson -Patman Act. d. The Celler-Kefauver Act.C. The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 is an amendment to the Clayton Act that strengthens the Clayton Act against price discrimination. 69
  70. 70. 8. Which of the following is concerned primarily with mergers? a. The Sherman Act. b. The Clayton Act. c. The Robinson-Patman Act. d. The Celler-Kefauver Act.D. The Celler-Kefauver Act is called the “antimerger act” because it closed the loophole in the Clayton Act by prohibiting mergers by sale of physical assets. 70
  71. 71. 9. The Utah Pie case was brought under which of the following laws? a. The Sherman Act. b. The Federal Trade Commission Act. c. The Robinson-Patman Act. d. The Celler-Kefauver Act.C. Utah Pie was a small frozen desert pie firm in Salt Lake City that used three outside national competitors for price discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled in Utah Pie’s favor. 71
  72. 72. 10. Although U.S. Steel controlled nearly 75% of the domestic iron and steel industry, in 1920 the Supreme Court ruled that the firm was not in violation of the Sherman Act because there was no evidence of abusive behavior. What antitrust doctrine was the court applying in this case? a. The rule of reason. b. The per se rule. c. The marginal cost pricing rule. d. The natural monopoly rule.A. The rule of reason applied when a firm was not engaged in anticompetitive behavior. 72
  73. 73. 11. In which antitrust case did the Supreme Court begin to apply the per se rule to determine whether a firm was in violation of the Sherman Act? a. The Standard Oil case. b. The Alcoa case. c. The IBM case. d. The MIT case.B. The Supreme Court decision in the Alcoa case of 1945 replaced the rule of reason with the per se rule, which states that the mere existence of monopoly is illegal. 73
  74. 74. 12. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was established in a. 1887. b. 1890. c. 1929. d. 1933.A. The ICC was established for the original purpose of regulating rail prices by reducing duplicate trains, depots, and tracks. 74
  75. 75. 13. Today, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) regulates airline a. ticket prices. b. routes. c. safety. d. all of the above. e. none of the above; the CAB was abolished in 1984.E. The CAB was established in 1938 to regulate airline fares and air routes. 75
  76. 76. 14. Which of the following provides the basis for regulation? a. Natural monopoly. b. Externalities. c. Imperfect information. d. All of the above.D. In each of these cases, the argument in favor of regulation is market failure. 76
  77. 77. 15. Consider a regulated natural monopoly. If the regulatory commission wants to establish a fair-return price, then it should set a price ceiling where the demand curve crosses the monopoly’s long-run a. marginal revenue curve. b. average revenue curve. c. marginal cost curve. d. average cost curve.D. One method for regulators to establish a fair-return price is to set price equal to long- run average cost and the monopolist earns zero economic profit 77
  78. 78. Internet ExercisesClick on the picture of the book, choose updates by chapter for the latest internet exercises 78
  79. 79. END 79