Antitrust and Competition Law:

Competition has proven an incredibly strong mechanism for providing incentives to reduce costs of production and distribution, to identify needs and find effective solutions to them, and to align resources with their best uses. To be sure, competition leaves some investments and some workers “stranded” for periods of time. But it has proven far superior at providing efficient production and distribution and at adapting to changing conditions than any other system. And competition also is more consistent than any alternative with notions of personal liberty. Antitrust law endeavors to protect competitive forces, and can be useful in constraining anti-competitive conduct. But too often it has been misused to handicap successful competitors. The law of tying, for example, often is directed against competitors who have come to dominate one market and are trying to improve their core products or to develop complementary ones. It is potentially a threat to continued economic development in a wide variety of businesses. Similarly, other branches of the law regulating monopolization increasingly are deployed by competitors against stronger rivals and by government officials seeking to exert more control over markets, to advance the interests of preferred enterprises. In the extreme, discretionary authority over competitive enterprises, over the terms on which business is conducted, and over details of the organization of particular industries threatens to turn competitive businesses into regulated, state-governed entities.