Big Tech & Antitrust

Big Tech & Antitrust Conference

Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, on October 3-4, 2020


co-hosted by the Information Society Project (ISP) and the Thurman Arnold Project (TAP@Yale)

Seven of the ten largest companies globally are technology giants, and in many jurisdictions, scholars, lawmakers, and the public at large have articulated concerns that Big Tech has become too big. Many critics have called for a revival of stricter antitrust enforcement, more assertive antitrust authorities, and a general rebalancing of economic power. These new policy proposals challenge long-standing assumptions in antitrust and competition law and may threaten existing business models.

This conference aims to explore the role of antitrust and competition law in shaping the future of the digital economy. The conference will discuss what kinds of harms antitrust law needs to address in the digital age and how they can be specified and measured. It will also consider the relationship between antitrust law and broader concerns—including privacy, innovation, and inequality. Finally, the conference will consider policy recommendations, including changes in the interpretation of antitrust laws and doctrines, enforcement practices, and the institutional organization of agencies. We encourage submissions from all disciplines that contribute to related legal, economic, regulatory, or policy discussions


Saturday, October 3rd

8:30am-9:45am:  Plenary 1: Reimagining Antitrust

Nick Economides and Ioannis Lianos, “Restrictions on Privacy and Exploitation in the Digital Economy:  Competition Law Perspective”

 Michelle Meagher, “Corporate Law, Antitrust, and the History of Democratic Control of the Balance of Power”

Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke, “The Gamemakers”

Moderator: Erika Douglas

10:00am-10:55am: Session 1

Breakout Room 1 -Thomas Kadri, “Digital Gatekeepers”   

Commentator: Cristina Caffarra   

Breakout Room 2 -Gabriel Nicholas, “Taking It With You: Platform Barriers to Entry and the Limits of Data Portability”   

Commentator: Niklas Eder

Breakout Room 3 -Mateusz Grochowski and Giacomo Tagiuri, “Amazon's Dual Role: Data-Based Leverage on the Intermediary Platforms' Market”

Commentator: Christoph Busch

11:10am-12:05pm: Session 2   

Breakout Room 1 -Mark Lemley, "Exit Strategy"

Commentator:  Pauline Trouillard

Breakout Room 2 -Nikolas Guggenberger, “Essential Platforms”   

Commentator: Maurice Stucke   

Breakout Room 3 -Niels Kirst, “Big Tech, The Rule of Law and Democracy”   

Commentator: Michael Karanicolas   

1:45pm-2:40pm: Plenary 2: Comparative

Babatunde Irukera and Morayo Adebayo, “Competition Law in the Digital Age: Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Markets”   

Moritz Hennemann and Boris Paal, “Data Protection and Antitrust Law: The German Cartel Office's Facebook Case and its European Aftermath”

Guy Aridor, Yeon-KooChe, and Tobias Salz, “The Effect of Privacy Regulation on the Data Industry: Empirical Evidence from GDPR”

Moderator: Susanne Augenhofer   

2:55pm-3:50pm: Session 3

Breakout Room 1 -Michael Kwet, “Social Media Socialism: People's Tech and Decolonization for a Global Society in Crisis”

Commentator: Anat Lior   

Breakout  Room 2 -James Bessen, ErichDenk, Joowon Kim, and Cesare Righi, “Declining Industrial Disruption”

Commentator: Seth Benzell   

Breakout Room 3 -Sean O'Brien, “Investigating Privacy Harm via Big Tech Influence”   

Commentator: Ari Ezra Waldman   

4:05pm-5:20pm: Plenary 3: Behavior

James Rosenquist, Fiona Scott Morton and Samuel Weinstein, “The Disutility of Exploitative Technology”

Gregory Day and Abbey Stemler, “Are Dark Patterns Anticompetitive?”

John Newman, “Antitrust in Attention Markets”

Moderator: Michael Kades

6:00pm -7:30pm Virtual Drinks - (Plenary Room)

Sunday, October 4th

8:30am-9:45am: Plenary 4: Student Panel

Shili Shao, “Antitrust In The Consumer Platform Economy: How Apple Has Abused Its Mobile Platform Dominance”

Dakota Foster and Lorand Laskai, “National Security, Antitrust, and Digital Platforms: A Preliminary Assessment”

Conor May, “Bridging the Coasean Divide: The Need for a Shared Economic Lexicon for Antitrust and Worker Protection Law”

Moderator: Fiona Scott Morton

10:00am-10:55am: Session 4

Breakout Room 1 -Filippo Maria Lancieri and Caio Mario S. Pereira Neto, “Designing Remedies for Digital Markets: The Interplay Between Antitrust and Regulation”

Commentator: Rafael Nunes   

Breakout Room 2 -Seth Benzell and Avinash Collis, “How to Govern Facebook:  A Structural Model for Taxing and Regulating Big Tech”

Commentator: Geoffrey Parker   

11:10am-12:05pm: Session 5

Breakout Room 1 -Mason Marks, “Disrupting the Digital Panopticon”

Commentator: Sari Mazzurco

Breakout Room 2 -Spencer Smith, “The Indirect Purchaser Rule and Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law: A Reassessment”

Commentator: Thomas Kadri   

Breakout Room 3 -Anat Lior, “The Effects of Applying an AI Strict Liability Regime on AI Monopolization”   

Commentator: Doug Melamed

12:30pm-1:00pm   Keynote:

Rep. David Cicilline (RI-1), Chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law

Moderator: Fiona Scott Morton

1:10pm –2:20pm Plenary 5: Remedies   

Geoffrey Parker, Georgios Petropoulos, and Marshall Van Alstyne, “Digital Platforms, Market Power and Antitrust: A Proposal”

Rory Van Loo, “In Defense of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy”

Thomas Nachbar, “"Big Tech" and Less Restrictive Means”  

Erika Douglas, “Monopolization Remedies and Data Privacy”  

Moderator: David Dinielli

2:30pm-3:40pm: Plenary 6: Fundamentals

Christopher Yoo, “Big Data and Competition Law: Lessons from Innovation Markets”

Michal Gal and Nicolas Petit, “Radical Restorative Remedies for Digital Markets”

Elettra Bietti, “Toward Rawls and Beyond: Antitrust Justice for the Platform Era”

Moderator: Alvin Klevorick                       

The Information Society Project (ISP) is an intellectual center at Yale Law School, founded in 1997 by Professor Jack Balkin. The ISP explores issues at the intersection of law, technology, and society. It supports an international community of interdisciplinary scholars work to illuminate the complex relationships between law, technology, and society. The ISP produces scholarship, convenes legal experts, and hosts events to foster the cross-pollination of ideas and spark new collaborations.

The Thurman Arnold Project (TAP@Yale) launched in fall 2019 in response to the growing interest in competition enforcement by scholars, students, and the general public. The project is named in honor of Thurman Arnold, Yale Law Professor and head of the Antitrust Division from 1938-43, to capture the intellectual and enforcement tradition he represented, as well as his zeal for achieving competitive markets for the people of the United States. The project was founded by Professor Fiona Scott Morton, an economist at the School of Management, and is designed to bring together Yale scholars and students who are interested in antitrust to engage with one another and create rigorous antitrust research and policy, disseminate it, and enable links to enforcement and regulatory policy.