Weekly Roundup: April 15, 2022

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At the Blog

On Monday, Steve Salop continued our symposium on Root & Branch Reconstruction in Antitrust, by offering a careful analysis of the possibilities and limits of gig worker coordination under existing law. As he writes, “Properly designed, an association could pass muster under current Sherman Act antitrust jurisprudence of BMI, NCAA and Dagher.… However, this may prove cold comfort, because an association will likely face serious start-up problems — as well as litigation costs defending the association — that could prevent its success.”

On Tuesday, Shae McCrystal concluded the symposium, by offering glimpse into an alternative universe (Australia!), where horizontal coordination among small players is embraced as a social good. By exempting small economic players from the majority of cartel provisions, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has recognized that some forms of horizontal coordination provide important public benefits.

ICYMI, check out the earlier posts in the symposium by Sanjukta Paul, Sandeep Vaheesan, and Marshall Steinbaum. LPE Blog guarantee: you’ll never think of antitrust the same way again.

And on Thursday, Lenore Palladino sought to dispel the widespread myth that shareholders are investors. As she writes, “In the 21st century, calling shareholders ‘investors’ completely confuses the difference between real investment that companies do to improve their production process and the trading of stock on the financial markets… For the past two decades, companies on U.S. stock markets have been repurchasing their own shares at a higher volume than they have been issuing new shares—which means that funds are flowing from companies to share-sellers, not the other way around.” Beyond merely causing conceptual confusion, this mistake perpetuates the harmful idea that the purpose of all corporate activity should be to the benefit of shareholders.

In LPE Land

Are you a law student who’s into LPE but struggling to form a group on campus? Our US “LPE At Large” student group meets virtually on Wednesdays @ 8 PM ET. Please contact Ambrosia Ferro (Seton Hall) at [email protected] for more details!

The Southern Atlantic Quarterly has released a special issue on Law and the Critique of Capitalism, edited by LPE’s own Corinne Blalock. It’s always a wise financial decision to invest in first editions of future classics, but with an absolutely all-star line-up of articles, it would be downright reckless not to pick up a copy.

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