Is antitrust law a necessary defense against the predatory business practices of wealthy, entrenched corporations that dominate a market? Or does antitrust law actually work to restrain and restrict the competitive process, injuring the public it is supposed to protect?
In this pioneering study, Professor Armentano thoroughly researches the classic cases in antitrust law and demonstrates an enormous gap between the stated aims of antitrust law and what it actually accomplishes in the real world.
Instead of protecting competition, Professor Armentano argues, antitrust law actually protects certain politically-favored competitors. This is an essential work for anyone wishing to understand the limitations and problems of contemporary antitrust actions.
If you have already read the author's shorter works or monographs, you will certainly appreciate the detail of this full-length argument that deals with the technical issues concerning the neoclassical model, and provides a lengthy look at the primary body of case law that impacts on antitrust today. This book is what is necessary to not only back his radical position but also to provide a necessary counterweight to the neoclassical literature.
This book is an important work in the American Austrian tradition. It employed the theoretical apparatus constructed by Murray Rothbard to the American history of antitrust case law: a masterful unity of theory and history. For this reason, it is an absolutely essential work for any economics student studying in the Austrian tradition.
More than any book or article in the Chicago tradition, Armentano makes the case for the total abolition of antitrust and for a free market. He employs a market-process analysis to show that firm size and the management of market dominance should remain within a market framework, and that any attempt to intervene only ends up subsidizing inefficiency, harming consumers, and creating opportunities for political exploitation.
No Austrian or free-market library should be without this work, and no economics education can be complete without a thorough understanding of its lessons for the future.
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Austrian Economics, Freedom and Peace