Documenting the Antitrust Revolution over Seven Editions of Kwoka and White

Published date01 December 2020
DOI10.1177/0003603X20950200
Date01 December 2020
Article
Documenting the Antitrust
Revolution over Seven Editions
of Kwoka and White
Kenneth G. Elzinga* and George Alan Hay**
Abstract
By a market test of longevity, seven successive editions of The Antitrust Revolution (“TAR”) is a
remarkable publishing event. John E. Kwoka and Lawrence J. White (editors) assembled a collection of
antitrust disputes written by economists who have expertise in each case. The result has been seven
books that are both textbook and treatise. The peg on which TAR hangs is the proposition that
economic analysis has “revolutionized” antitrust enforcement. This article unpacks the contents of the
editions and shows how the multiple editions reveal the evolution of antitrust law in response to
structural changes in the economy as well as advances in economic analysis. We also discuss the one
industry found in every edition (telecommunications) and assess external indicators of the book’s
influence. The Appendix lists all of the case studies and the authors over all editions.
Keywords
antitrust, mergers, collusion, exclusionary conduct
I. Introduction
Over three decades ago (the year was 1989), Scott Foresman published the first edition of The Antitrust
Revolution (hereafter, TAR) edited by John E. Kwoka and Lawrence J. White. In 2019, Oxford
University Press released the Seventh Edition.
1
Any textbook or treatise in the field of economics
that has such a long run warrants an evaluation. Such an assessment might take several tangents. What
is the book all about? What accounts for its durability in the marketplace? What has been its contri-
bution to economic scholarship? Has there actually been a “revolution” in antitrust, as the title claims?
If so, how does TAR account for it?
This article unpacks the contents of TAR over the course of its multiple editions to answer these
questions. But first, a word about the editors. When TAR was first published, both editors held
* University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
** Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Corresponding Author:
Kenneth G. Elzinga, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
Email: kenelzinga@yahoo.com
1. The third through seventh editions were published by Oxford University Press.
The Antitrust Bulletin
2020, Vol. 65(4) 523–546
ªThe Author(s) 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0003603X20950200
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academic posts: Kwoka was on the economics faculty at George Washington University, and White
was a faculty member at the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business. Later, Kwoka
joined the faculty at Northe astern University, a positio n he holds today. White, by con trast, has
remained at NYU over the entirety of TAR’s editions. Both editors took leaves from the academy
and served in the federal antitrust agencies: Kwoka served at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and
the Antitrust Division, and White served in the Antitrust Division as a Chief Economist. Kwoka also
worked at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and White served on the Council of
Economic Advisors.
In addition to coediting all seven editions of TAR (there have been no other editors), each of the
editors has made notable contributions to the scholarly literature. Kwoka has over eighty articles (not
including book reviews) and three books on his CV; White has over 300 articles and 23 books (edited
or authored). In addition, Kwoka has been the president of the Industrial Organization Society, and
White is the editor of the Review of Industrial Organization. Both Kwoka and White have reputations
distinct from the seven editions of TAR they have shepherded.
The idea behind TAR is simple: assemble a collection of case studiesbased on prominent, real-world
antitrustdisputes and have the case studies authoredby economists who have expertiseabout those cases.
The expertise of the authors may be based on their research and publications; it is also likely that they
served as economic experts in the cases that are the basis for the chapters they contributed (and as a
result, they have an insider’s knowledge about the topic or question that was litigated).
In the preface to the First Edition, Kwoka and White explain that two phenomena provoked the
book: (1) the increasing application of economics to antitrust litigation and (2) the absence of readable
and accessible resource material that looked at recent antitrust cases through the lens of economic
analysis. The initial publication of TAR came after a decade of growing influence of economic
analysis in antitrust cases. The book’s ongoing analysis of real-world case studies reflects the ongoing
importance of economic analysis in antitrust since the mid-1970s: what the editors call “The Antitrust
Revolution.”
Over the last thirty years, Kwoka and White have endeavored to use these case studies to show how
TAR has persisted and evolved, with each successive edition containing new case studies that display
the growing role of economics in antitrust cases. The seven editions not only provide numerous case
studies showing how antitrust economics has evolved (the “revolution”); a publication track record
spanning seven editions also reveals TAR’s popularity among students and professors as a way to learn
about competition economics.
While TAR’s intention is to explain the growing importance of economic analysis in antitrust
enforcement, an unintended consequence of the multiple editions is revealing the evolution of antitrust
law in response to structural changes caused by shocks to the economy from forces like the Internet and
globalization.
Section II of this article is taxonomic: It identifies the case studies and the authors who appear in
multiple editions; in the process, it identifies what is new in antitrust. This section indicates what kind
of cases have become important enough to warrant inclusion in TAR (and what cases have lost their
luster and been dropped accordingly). Sections III to V of this article examine three themes of antitrust
enforcement: collusion, mergers , and unilateral market power, as see n through the lens of TAR.
Section VI addresses a fourth theme: vertical practices, particularly with regard to price and nonprice
agreements.
Section VII discusses the one industry found in every edition: telecommunications. The question of
whether a revolution in antitrust has taken place can be answered, at least in part, through the lens of
this industry. As a bonus, the telecommunications industry reflects the effect of structural changes in
the U.S. economy on antitrust enforcement. Section VIII assesses external indicators of the book’s
influence, apart from TAR’s history of seven editions. The final section contains concluding remarks
about the revolution the book purports to document and describe.
524 The Antitrust Bulletin 65(4)

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