This tour de force rips the intellectual cover off antitrust regulation to reveal it as a bludgeon used by businesses against their competitors. Unlike many critics, Professor Armentano carries the logic of his analysis to the fullest possible extent: ""My position on antitrust has never been ambiguous,"" he writes. ""All of the antitrust laws and all of the enforcement agency authority should be summarily repealed. The antitrust apparatus cannot be reformed; it must be abolished.""
Professor Armentano begins with the most rigorous and revealing account of the Microsoft antitrust battle to appear in print. He further discusses other recent cases, including Toys 'R' Us, Staples, and Intel, as well as many historical cases. He covers nearly every conceivable rationale for antitrust, including price fixing, predatory pricing, product tie-ins, vertical and horizontal mergers, and many more.
This is a crucially important work in our new era of antitrust enforcement. This 2nd edition is completely revised and includes a treatment of Murray Rothbard's contributions to the theory of monopoly and competition. It ends by arguing that antitrust is contrary to both free-market economic theory and the protection of property rights in a free society.
Whether Microsoft had a monopoly in operating systems depends, of course, on a precise definition of monopoly. A perfect monopoly, presumably, would control all of the available supply of a product in some well-defined relevant market with strong legal barriers to entry. Since Microsoft was said to license 90 percent of the operating system software sold in new personal computers and since there were no legal barriers to entry in software, Microsoft did not have a perfect monopoly. There were other operating systems for personal computers available (Mac OS, Unix, OS/2, Linux) and consumers could turn to them if the Microsoft system were unavailable; in addition, new suppliers could always enter the market. Yet, legal scholars citing precedent would argue that any market share above 70 percent (with or without legal barriers) can constitute monopoly under antitrust law."
Dominick T. Armentano
Dominick T. Armentano is professor emeritus in economics at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also taught at the University of Connecticut, where he received his Ph.D. in economics in 1966. In the spring of 1984 he was Shelby Cullom Davis Visiting Professor at Trinity College in Connecticut. Dr. Armentano is the author of The Myths of Antitrust: Economic Theory and Legal Cases (Arlington House, 1972) and Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, 2nd ed. (Independent Institute, 1990). His essays and articles have appeared in many other books, including William P. Snavely’s Theory of Economic Systems (Charles Merrill, 1969), Yale Brozen’s The Competitive Economy (General Learning Press, 1975), and Louis M. Spadaro’s New Directions in Austrian Economics (New York University Press, 1978). His shorter articles and reviews have appeared in such journals and newspapers as the Antitrust Bulletin, Business & Society Review, the New York Times, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the Cato Journal. Professor Armentano and his wife currently reside in Vero Beach, Florida.