AAI Advisory Board member William S. Comanor published “The Antitrust Revolution” in The Antitrust Bulletin 2020, Vol. 65.
The Antitrust Revolution of the early 1980s arose from various intellectual currents, including specifically the growing acceptance of modern game theory. Its greatest impact, however, lay in the development of revised standards for merger policy. From ones which employed largely a set of per se standards, they rapidly evolved into those more compatible with the Rule of Reason. Large horizontal mergers were routinely approved, and concentration levels in major industries soared. Although efficiency levels were sometimes enhanced, there is little evidence that consumers generally benefited in the form of lower prices. As a result, the new merger policy may have contributed to the observed growing inequality in U.S. distributions of income and wealth.