LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO SCHOOL of LAW (2016 Winter Magazine) - page 18-19

ntitrust law is
the body of law
that protects
competition for
the benefit of
consumers. It
categorically prohibits such practices
as price fixing, bid rigging, and other
cartel behavior. Antitrust law also
prohibits on a case-by-case basis
other types of agreements that can
harm competition, such as mergers
that may tend to create a monopoly.
These aren’t just theoretical
concerns. Antitrust law protects
consumers from price-fixing
agreements that cost them
hundreds of billions of dollars a
year in overcharges; monopolies
that exclude competition and
harm innovation; and mergers that
destroy competition, such as the
recent Comcast-Time Warner Cable
acquisition withdrawn in the face of
strong opposition from the Antitrust
Division of the Department of Justice.
What we call antitrust law in the
United States is called competition
law in most of the rest of the world.
While once an esoteric specialty,
global competition law is now an
important part of any international
lawyer’s portfolio.
For example, the European
Union (EU) has a sophisticated
body of competition law every bit
as influential as that in the US. EU
competition law has substantive
rules, procedures, and enforcement
priorities that differ from those in
the United States, but international
businesses have to structure their
operations to comply with the law
of the US, EU, and any other relevant
jurisdictions. US businesses such as
Intel and Google have found that
the bite of EU competition law often
exceeds that of the United States.
More than 130 countries or
jurisdictions now have enacted their
own versions of competition law.
These include China, India, Russia,
and Brazil, bringing some form of
competition law to billions of new
citizens and businesses throughout
the world and new legal concerns
for businesses operating in those
markets. In the last few years, Google
struggled in China more than in
any other jurisdiction, clearing its
acquisition of Motorola Mobility over
objections that the deal would harm
competition in the Chinese cell phone
technology market.
Also in China, Qualcomm
found itself hit this year with the
equivalent of a $1 billion fine for
alleged abuses of a dominant position
(similar to a monopoly) regarding
certain patent portfolios related to
cell phone technology.
A shift in focus
I have spent most of my career
studying, practicing, teaching,
and writing about these issues of
competition policy in the global
marketplace. Over the years my
primary focus has changed from
how US antitrust law is applied to
international business to how US and
foreign businesses must navigate
the tangle of dozens of different laws
and jurisdictions that may investigate
or challenge a particular business
practice or transaction.
Global competition law is a
crucial part of the work of Loyola’s
Institute for Consumer Antitrust
Studies, which is celebrating its
20th anniversary this year. Our
student fellows are exposed to US
and global competition law both
in the classroom and the real world
at monthly lunches with leading
practitioners; hands-on projects
in conjunction with the American
Bar Association; articles published
on our website; and our annual
colloquium, which attracts speakers
and attendees from all over the
world. The institute has sponsored
conferences and programs in Chile,
England, Hungary, Ireland, Israel,
Italy, and throughout the US, as well
as prepared white papers and other
submissions to the governments of
Canada, New Zealand, and the EU
on both competition and consumer
protection matters.
Global competition law issues
are also the biggest themes of my
two current projects. In late 2015,
I published the fourth edition of
Antitrust and American Business
(Thomson Reuters). This book
was initially published in 1958 when
the US was more or less the antitrust
police for the whole world. The book
was expanded and revised in 1980
to deal with the new issues of the
day (OPEC, the growth of the EU, the
challenges of the late ColdWar, etc).
I took over the treatise,
publishing the third edition in 1996,
and have updated it ever since.
The time came to comprehensively
rethink and revise the book to deal
with the issues of antitrust and
competition law in the 21st century.
With the help of Andre Fiebig, a
gifted coauthor, former student,
and partner at Quarles & Brady, we
have expanded coverage of EU,
Canadian, and Mexican competition
law, and the myriad ways competition
agencies cooperate to enforce
criminal and civil antitrust laws and
promote a more consumer-friendly
competitive economy, both locally
and globally. In addition, we discuss
for the first time the growing trend
toward private damage actions
in competition cases around the
world where defendants now face
government enforcement, as well as
complicated and high-stakes private
damage litigation and class actions
both in the US and abroad.
Taking global
competition law online
The other focus of my energies
has been the launch of the new, fully
online degree programs in global
competition law at Loyola. Both
lawyers and non-lawyer professionals
working in the field may enroll in
these two-year, part-time programs to
sharpen their skills and knowledge in
the competition law and policy issues
facing regulators and the regulated in
today’s global marketplace.
The MJ and LLM programs
in global competition law were
launched this fall with a combination
of students from the public and
private sectors. I have enjoyed
interacting online with a group of
students that includes the head of
a competition agency, a prominent
Latin American competition law
specialist, two staff members at an
African agency, an in-house counsel
for an American multinational
corporation based in Latin America,
and a Loyola MBA graduate living and
working in Cambodia (see page 35).
For more information, visit
While I teach other courses at
the School of Law, US antitrust and
global competition law will continue
to be the focus of most of my research
and writing. It is a fascinating and
ever-changing field.
Competition law program
expands at Loyola
Spencer Weber Waller
is a professor of law and director of Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies.
Spencer Weber Waller
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