In Search of a Competition Doctrine for Information Technology Markets: Recent Antitrust Developments in the Online Sector

Mon Nov 17 13:07:00 EST 2014
By Dr. Jeffrey A. Eisenach with Ilene Knable Gotts of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Information technology (IT) markets have been raising difficult issues for competition authorities for more than a century. Competition authorities have struggled to devise solutions to real or theoretical antitrust concerns in virtually every major IT market, from mainframe computers (IBM) to operating systems (Microsoft), from "enterprise management software" (Oracle-PeopleSoft) to search engines (Google).

Dr. Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Senior Vice President and Co-Chair of NERA's Communications, Media, and Internet Practice, has co-authored a chapter in Communications and Competition Law that describes these concerns in a way that illuminates the analytical challenges, provides some recent examples of antitrust reviews involving IT markets, and offers some thoughts on how these issues are likely to present themselves in the future. In the chapter titled "In Search of a Competition Doctrine for Information Technology Markets: Recent Antitrust Developments in the Online Sector," Dr. Eisenach and his co-author (Ilene Knable Gotts, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York) present a taxonomy of the economic characteristics that distinguish IT markets from more traditional markets and discuss several recent situations in which competition authorities have wrestled with such issues in practice.

The authors note that, while economists continue to make progress towards a better understanding of the competitive dynamics of IT markets, much of that understanding is not yet fully or consistently reflected in practice.

An excerpted chapter is posted here with permission of Wolters Kluwer Legal and the International Bar Association.