Big Tech & Antitrust Conference

Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 28-29, 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.


8:00-8:30a           Breakfast and Welcome (Dining Hall)

8:30-9:45a           Plenary 1: Reimagining Antitrust (Room 127)

Economides, Nicholas; Lianos, Ioannis: Restrictions on Privacy and Exploitation in the Digital Economy: a Competition Law Perspective

Meagher, Michelle: Beyond Breakups   

Ezrachi, Ariel; Stucke, Maurice: The Gamemakers

                                    Moderator: George Priest

10:00-10:55a       Breakout Session 1                         

Kadri, Thomas: Foxes Guarding the Henhouses; Commentator: TBD (Room 127) 

Nicholas, Gabriel: You Can't Take It with You: Limitations of Data Portability to Improve Competition; Commentator: TBD (Room 128)

Grochowski, Mateusz; Tagiuri, Giacomo: Amazon's Dual Role: Data-Based Leverage on the Intermediary Platforms' Market; Commentator: TBD, (Room 121)

11:10-12:05p      Breakout Session 2                         

Waldman, Ari Ezra: Privacy Discourse and Antitrust; Commentator: TBD (Room 127)

Guggenberger, Nikolas: Essential Platforms; Commentator: TBD (Room 128)

Kirst, Niels: Big Tech, The Rule of Law and Democracy; Commentator: TBD (Room 121)

12:05-1:25p         Lunch                   

1:45-2:40p           Plenary 2: Comparative, Room 127

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

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

Aridor, Guy: The Economic Consequences of Data Privacy Regulation: Empirical Evidence from GDPR

Moderator: TBD

2:55-3:50p           Breakout Session 3                         

Candeub, Adam: Antitrust, Viewpoint Diversity, and the Internet; Commentator: TBD (Room 127)

Bessen, James; Denk, Erich; Kim, Joowon; Righi, Cesare: Declining Industrial Disruption; Commentator: TBD (Room 128)

            O'Brien, Sean; Investigating Privacy Harm via Big Tech Influence; Commentator: TBD (Room 121)


4:05-5:20p           Plenary 3: Behavior, Room 127

Rosenquist, James Niels; Scott Morton, Fiona: The Disutility of Exploitative Technology

Day, Gregory; Stemler, Abbey: Are Dark Patterns Anticompetitive?          

                                    Newman, John M: Antitrust in Attention Markets

                                    Moderator: Michael Kades


8:00-8:30a           Breakfast

8:30-9:45a           Plenary 4: Student Panel, Room 127       

Bloomfield, Doni: Competition and Risk

Shao, Shili: Antitrust in the Consumer Platform Economy: How Apple Has Abused its Monopoly Power and the Case for Platform Special Responsibility   

de Sa, Andrea: Too Big to Trust: Antitrust Applications to Fake News on Social Media       

Foster, Dakota; Laskai, Lorand: Historical Case Studies of Antitrust

May, Conor: Disrupting Law: The Need for New Approaches to Sharing Platform Regulation                               

                                    Moderator: Fiona Scott Morton


10:00-10:55a       Breakout Session 4                         

Lancieri, Filippo Maria; Pereira Neto, Caio Mario S.: Designing remedies for digital markets: the interplay between antitrust and regulation; Commentator TBD (Room 127)

Benzell, Seth; Collis, Avinash: Multi-Sided Platform Strategy, Taxation and Regulation: A Quantitative Model and Application to Facebook; Commentator TBD (Room 128)

Godwin, Samantha: FICO’s Empire; Commentator TBD (Room 121)


11:10-12:05p      Breakout Session 5                         

Kwet, Michael: Distributed Antitrust; Marks, Mason: Disrupting the Digital Panopticon; Commentator TBA (Room 127)

Smith, Spencer: Unleash Private Antitrust Enforcement; Commentator (Room 128)

Lior, Anat: The Effects of Applying an AI Strict Liability Regime on AI Monopolization; Commentator: TBD (Room 121)


12:20-2:00           Plenary 5 & Lunch: Remedies, Room 127              

Parker, Geoffrey; Petropoulos, Georgios; Van Alstyne, Marshall: Digital Platforms, Market Power and Antitrust: A proposal               

Van Loo, Rory: Digital Antitrust Remedies            

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

Douglas, Erika M.: Dangerous Beasts: Antitrust Remedies and Data Privacy

Moderator:  David Dinielli


2:15-3:30p           Plenary 6: Fundamentals, Room 127       

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

Melamed, Doug; Petit, Nicolas: Big Tech & International Antitrust Convergence: An Error Costs Perspective        

Gal, Michal: Petit, Nicolas; Radical Remedies for Antitrust Enforcement in the Digital Economy               

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

                                    Moderator: Al 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.