The Sherman Act and related antitrust jurisprudence have proven flexible and capable of balancing competitive effects of virtually any kind of concerted conduct among two or more conspirators under the rule of reason. The same flexibility, however, is not available to plaintiffs seeking to remedy unilateral conduct — no matter how anticompetitive — except in very limited circumstances. The current U.S. antitrust framework overwhelmingly fails to reach anticompetitive, unilateral conduct by companies growing upwards of seventy percent in any well-defined product market. This unilateral conduct gap severely restricts the ability to protect interoperability and innovation, particularly with respect to complementary products that increase consumer welfare and choice. Congress should seize upon the rare cross-aisle support for modernizing antitrust legislation to create a new rule of reason cause of action to remedy anticompetitive unilateral conduct separate and apart from Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

By Susannah P. Torpey & Dillon Kellerman1

I. INTRODUCTION

The recent focus on anticompetitive conduct in digital markets has exposed a fundamental limitation of U.S. antitrust legislation and jurisprudence: How do we rein in anticompetitive, unilateral conduct in emerging and adjacent markets by entities that may be dominant players in related markets, but might not have a monopoly share in the complementary market restrained by the conduct? The Sherman Act and re

ACCESS TO THIS ARTICLE IS RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIBERS

Please sign in or join us
to access premium content!