Spring 2013
5330 Antitrust - BUSH- 30111

Professor(s): Darren Bush (FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Business and Commercial Law 

Time: 2:30p-4:00p  MWLocation: 213-BLB 

Course Outline: The Antitrust and Regulated Industries courses examine two different legal approaches for controlling private economic power--the antitrust laws, which are designed to establish and maintain competitive markets, and regulatory statutes, which establish government agencies to supervise entry, rates, and service. These two approaches are examined in a way that focuses on the theoretical and practical difficulties of each approach. In Antitrust, the Sherman and Clayton Acts are studied. Topics include monopolization, mergers, agreements among competitors (such as price fixing and market allocation), and distribution agreements (such as tying and exclusive dealing). Discussion will consider whether these statutes seek only to advance economic efficiency, or are intended to achieve broader political or social goals; and will also consider whether the case law does (or can) advance any of these goals.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus pdf

Course Notes:   Antitrust – First Assignment
Greetings and welcome back!

Although antitrust has a rich historical background in common law, and remains an area subject for significant case analysis and judicial law making, the student of antitrust or any other subject should not skim by quickly the statutes involved in the subject area. Certain basic concepts and limitations are imposed by the need to define the meaning and scope of the statutory prohibition and the standards for proving a violation of the prohibitions.

For the first day of class, please read Chapter 1, pages 30- 53 of Chapter 1 of the casebook, available at your friendly-neighborhood University of Houston Law Center copy center.

Class will center upon the following queries:

1. Sherman Act Section 1: What is meant by "contract?" By "combination in the form of trust or otherwise?" By "conspiracy?" What significance should be attributed to defining the offenses in the alternative ("or")?

What is meant by "restraint of trade or commerce?"

Does the language "commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations" include conduct having the "effect" of restraining trade or commerce "among" the several states and restraints upon trade between nations? To what extent is "trade or commerce" within a single state subject to the statute and what must be shown to prove such a case?

2. Sherman Act Section 2: How many separate offenses are included in Section 2 of the Sherman Act? Does Section 2 make monopoly unlawful? Is there a difference between having a monopoly and monopolizing or attempting to monopolize?

3. Federal Trade Commission Act Section 5: What does "unfair methods of competition" mean to you? How does it differ, if at all, from "unfair or deceptive trade practices?" Should the prohibitions of Sections 1-2 of the Sherman Act be considered "unfair methods of competition?" Is Section 5 broader than Section 1 of the Sherman Act at least in the sense that a single person or firm can violate Section 5 while it takes 2 or more persons to violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act?

4. Remedies: Notice the extensive array of remedies for violating the federal antitrust laws: criminal, equitable and civil remedies are all available. What is the range of criminal sanctions? Who may seek equitable remedies?

What may a successful private plaintiff "who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws" recover by way of damages and costs for antitrust violations?

What relationship does Section 5(a) of the Clayton Act establish between government actions and private damage actions? What impact do you think Section 5(a) has upon government enforcement actions and the willingness of defendants in such cases to settle with the government?

Prerequisites:  

First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 05/08 1-4pm  111 TU2    

This course will have:
Exam:
Paper:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No