The Complexity of Conversing About Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Antitrust

Published date01 December 2016
Date01 December 2016
ABX673947 494..497 Article
The Antitrust Bulletin
2016, Vol. 61(4) 494-497
The Complexity of Conversing
ª The Author(s) 2016
Reprints and permission:
About Entrepreneurship,
DOI: 10.1177/0003603X16673947
Innovation, and Antitrust
Peter C. Carstensen*
The relationship between law including competition policy and the goal of advancing innovation and
entrepreneurship is complex. Bert Foer’s chapter identifies the many ways that competition law and
policy directly and indirectly can affect positively or negatively the advancement of that goal. The
comment seeks to highlight that range and complexity by using the categories from the traditional I-O
Paradigm to show where and how antitrust law and policies it seeks to advance can be used to shape
the conditions, structure, and conduct in markets to facilitate outcomes that will advance the public
interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.
competition law, antitrust law, industrial organization paradigm, innovation, entrepreneurship
I. Introduction
Laying out the competition policy issues relevant to the complex challenges of promoting
entrepreneurship and innovation requires broad strokes and generalizations. Moreover, the
range of issues invites confusion as to goals and terms. What is impressive about Bert Foer’s
article is how well it covers the need for a common language to understand the competition
policy issues that are given extensive and focused consideration in this symposium. In my view,
one of the most important insights from the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship is that
market dynamics make competition policy much more important but also much less certain.
Moreover, positing a policy goal of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship affects how
important parts of competition law should be interpreted. It also identifies a potentially signif-
icant role for competition policy as a means of defining the scope of other legal regimes that
directly affect innovation.
*University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI, USA
Corresponding Author:
Peter C. Carstensen, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

II. Another Way to Visualize the Complexity of the Issues
The paradigm used historically in industrial organization economics1 demonstrates the range of
legal and policy issues raised by this article. That framework postulates that basic conditions define
the potential market structures that, in turn, define the...

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