Invitational Symposium: Antitrust and Entrepreneurship

Jun 17

Invitational Symposium: Antitrust and Entrepreneurship

Date: June 17, 2015
Location: National Press Club, Washington DC

The American Antitrust Institute’s 2015 Invitational Symposium, Entrepreneurship And Antitrust: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, was held on June 17, 2015.  The symposium highlighted the growing complexity found at the intersection of entrepreneurial activity and competition policy. Experts from law, economics, and business convened to offer insights on the nature and importance of entrepreneurship to the economy, the challenges that entrepreneurial activity poses for antitrust thought and enforcement, and policy solutions to address those challenges. The event was a milestone in a larger AAI project on the interaction of entrepreneurship and antitrust made possible by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The AAI’s focus on entrepreneurship and antitrust is motivated by the importance of entrepreneurial activity to economic growth. Recent research documents the slowing pace of entry into the economy by new firms. There are indications that this slowdown in entrepreneurship and the increasing rate of failure that many early-stage firms experience may be linked to growing consolidation. Theoretical and practical limitations inherent to existing antitrust analysis may systemically undervalue entrepreneurial activity. Questions concerning the relationship of antitrust and entrepreneurship are therefore ripe for analysis.

The AAI Symposium addressed the question of how competition policy and entrepreneurial activity should relate to one another. Speakers will examine the requisite theoretical perspective and enforcement environment for fostering the recognition and development of business opportunities that define the entrepreneurial process; and the risk-taking, initiative, and entrepreneurial drive that make up the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. Speakers will also examine aspects of entrepreneurial activity that challenge competition and economic growth. Both are critical as forces key to an economy that revolves around job creation, investment, higher living standards, consumer benefits, and the long-term vibrancy of the economy.

The morning panels drew upon experts from the field of entrepreneurship to understand the phenomenon of entrepreneurialism, the stages of entrepreneurial activity, and the characteristics of different classes of entrepreneurs. The morning will also include experts from economics, marketing, strategic management, and other disciplines to better understand the incentives, strategies, and outcomes that relate to entrepreneurial activity and affect entrepreneurs in the modern economy. The second half of the day drew upon experts in competition policy and antitrust to focus on how standard antitrust analysis—ranging from how markets are defined, to the evaluation of entry, to the fashioning of merger remedies—considers the process and outcomes of entrepreneurship. Importantly, this discussion will also examine the question of how increasing consolidation, strategic behavior, and other competitive developments affect, and are affected by, entrepreneurial activity.

Listen to: Opening Remarks and Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurial Activity:  Insights and Experiences from the Field of Entrepreneurship

Listen to: Entrepreneurship in Antitrust Law and Economics

Listen to: Luncheon and Keynote Speaker Ann Marie Mehlum of the U.S. Small Business Administration

Listen to: The Future of Entrepreneurship in Antitrust Law and Policy

Listen to: Roundtable Discussion