Anti-Trust and the Internet

In this topic, we will explore how antitrust regulation has shaped the way that firms to business on the internet. A wide variety of recent, cutting-edge cases will help us cover much of the U.S. and European antitrust landscape, including monopolization, tying, mergers, joint ventures, and price fixing. This topic is ideal for anyone with an interest in internet technology and some background in antitrust. The cases and issues have been selected to minimize any overlap with the Fall 2009 antitrust/IP topic, so the two are complements, not substitutes. Among the issues and cases for discussion are: (1) Objections to “free” business models such as Google, Yahoo!, and countless others on the basis of predatory pricing in the U.S. and the EU. (2) Price fixing allegations brought against Linux developers relying for their code contributions on the “copyleft” provisions in the General Public License. (3) Mergers and acquisitions involving multi-sided platforms, including Google/Doubleclick, PayPal/Bill Me Later, and others that are currently pending. (4) The 2008 Google/Yahoo! search partnership and the pending transaction between Microsoft and Yahoo! (5) Open and closed systems, including the allegations against the iPhone/App Store and the iPod/iTunes ecosystem in the U.S. and abroad, eBay seller litigation, and various pending matters. (6) The Google book search settlement. (7) Whatever happens between now and Spring 2010. This is a two credit topic with (most likely) an open book, in topic exam. Student presentations are encouraged.






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