Google and anti-trust: The new debate over Internet search
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About This Event

Event Summary

In a panel discussion at AEI on Friday, experts in the fields of anti-trust, law and economics and technology policy met to discuss the merits of the anti-trust concerns regarding Google's practices in the Internet search market. The event coincided with the release of a new paper by Gregory Sidak of Criterion Economics and Tilburg University and Judge Robert Bork titled "What Does the Chicago School Teach about Internet Search and the Anti-Trust Treatment of Google?"

Sidak began by providing an overview of the paper, addressing three of the major questions surrounding Google's Internet search practices. AEI's Jeffrey Eisenach then highlighted characteristics of high-tech markets and discussed how these characteristics can inform the response to allegations against Google.

Randy Picker of the University of Chicago then addressed the relationship between market power and advertising, and discussed Google's implicit advertising costs for users. He also answered the question of whether we can "share the top link" on a search results page. George Priest of Yale University concluded the discussion by suggesting that Sidak and Bork's paper gives too much consideration to the claims of Google's competitors, and thus does not adhere closely enough to the Chicago School view of anti-trust law.

--Jennifer Carey

Event Description

Since publishing “The Anti-Trust Paradox: A Policy at War With Itself” in 1978, Judge Robert Bork has been among the most influential analysts and critics of U.S. anti-trust law. Judge Bork and other “Chicago School” thinkers have profoundly shaped constitutional jurisprudence with respect to anti-trust for more than three decades.
 
In a new paper entitled “What Does the Chicago School Teach about Internet Search and the Anti-Trust Treatment of Google?,” Bork and Gregory Sidak analyze and weigh the merits of the anti-trust concerns that have been raised concerning Google and the market for Internet search. Join AEI for a luncheon in which experts in the fields of anti-trust, law and economics and technology policy will discuss the market for Internet search, the evolving competitive landscape and the proper role of government regulation in this sphere.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Agenda

12:00 PM
Registration and Lunch

12:30 PM
Panelists:
Jeff Eisenach, AEI
Randal Picker, University of Chicago
George Priest, Yale University
Gregory Sidak, Criterion Economics and Tilburg University

Moderator:
Nick Schulz, AEI

2:00 PM
Adjournment

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Jennifer Carey at [email protected], 202.862.5948.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Jeff Eisenach has served in senior positions at the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. As a visiting scholar at AEI, he will focus on policies affecting the information technology sector, innovation and entrepreneurship. Eisenach is also a managing director and a principal at Navigant Economics and an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches a course on regulated industries. He writes about a wide range of issues, including industrial organization, communications policy and the Internet, government regulations, labor economics and public finance. He has also taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Randal Picker currently teaches classes in anti-trust law, network industries and secured transactions as well as bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations at the University of Chicago Law School, and is a member of its Order of the Coif. After college, he spent two years as a Friedman Fellow in the department of economics at the University of Chicago. After graduating from law school, Picker clerked for Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He then spent three years with the Chicago firm Sidley & Austin, where he worked in the areas of debt restructuring and corporate reorganizations in bankruptcy. He is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and he is a commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Picker likewise serves as a member of the drafting committee to revise Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Picker is primarily interested in laws relating to intellectual property, competition policy and regulated industries and applications of game theory and agent-based computer simulations to the law. He is the co-author of “Game Theory and the Law.” He served as associate dean of the University of Chicago Law School from 1994 to1996.

George Priest is a professor of law and economics and Kauffman Distinguished Research Scholar in Law, Economics, and Entrepreneurship at Yale Law School, where he teaches courses in anti-trust, capitalism, insurance policy, products liability, torts, regulated industries and, recently, a seminar on economic development. He is the author of a wide number of articles and monographs on subjects of anti-trust, products liability, tort law, insurance, litigation and settlement, privatization and deregulation. He serves as the co-director of the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy at Yale Law School.

Gregory Sidak is the chairman and chief expert of Criterion Economics LLC in Washington,
D.C., and the Ronald Coase Professor of Law and Economics at the Tilburg Law and Economics
Center at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He is also the founding co-editor of the Journal
of Competition Law & Economics, published quarterly by Oxford University Press. From 1981 to 1982, Sidak was Judge Richard A. Posner’s first law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. From 1986 to 1987, he was senior counsel and economist to the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President. From 1987 to 1989, he was deputy general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission. Thereafter, Sidak practiced law with Covington & Burling and subsequently became the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow in Law and Economics at AEI and directed its research initiative on telecommunications regulation. Sidak has been a senior lecturer at the Yale School of Management and a visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He has published six books and more than eighty articles in scholarly journals, and his scholarly works in anti-trust and telecommunications have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission. Sidak has advised more than thirty telecommunications and media companies on anti-trust and regulatory matters in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Nick Schulz is the DeWitt Wallace Fellow at AEI and editor-in-chief of American.com, AEI's online magazine focusing on business, economics and public affairs. He writes the “Economics 2.0” column for Forbes.com where he analyzes technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. He is the co-author, with Arnold Kling, of “From Poverty to Prosperity: Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities, and the Lasting Triumph Over Scarcity.” He has been published widely in newspapers and magazines around the country, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Slate.

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