Dec. 14, 2022 – The University of Houston Law Center’s Professor Darren Bush has been busy this year bringing antitrust and consumer protection law topics to the forefront through conference presentations and published academic research.
As part of the Utah Project, a coalition of economists and law professors dedicated to the study of progressive antitrust and consumer protection law, Bush participated this fall in the renowned Lee E. Teitelbaum Utah Law Review Symposium titled “The New Roaring Twenties: The Progressive Agenda for Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law.”
An area of scholarly focus for Bush is the intersection of regulation and antitrust with emphasis on deregulated markets, immunities and exemptions, and merger review. At this year’s symposium, Bush moderated a panel on “The Goals of Antitrust.”
“I think the key takeaway was that the goals of antitrust are broader than consumer welfare theory as neoliberals apply it to antitrust,” said Bush.
Neoliberals are defined as a political approach that favors free-market capitalism, reduction in government spending, and deregulation. Bush explains that “the economic analysis they [neoliberals] apply is fundamentally flawed, yet antitrust clings to it even as economics moves beyond it.”
Utah is among the most active enforcers of state antitrust laws against tech giants, leading several national efforts. In addition, the Biden Administration has introduced a new progressive antitrust and consumer protection agenda for the federal government, which presented an opportunity to reassess the Utah Statement as the charter for a newly invigorated federal enforcement program.
In addition to speaking engagements, Bush helped launch an online magazine The Sling earlier this year. The publication offers pro-consumer and pro-competition pieces, data and fact-checking of other publications and video interviews.
“We are already putting up a variety of great pieces designed to challenge contemporary thinking about antitrust and consumer protection,” said Bush.
The Sling magazine is named after David’s sling from David and Goliath. Goliath, in this case, is corporate America and David represents the consumers, workers, and small business owners. The publication was named The Sling, “in the hope that the analysis and ideas discussed here can serve the public and foster the goal of providing for a more equitable and just society.”
Professor Bush is excited to see this renewed focus on antitrust.
“The Roaring Twenties symposium and The Sling online magazine promote thinking about antitrust and consumer protection policy and how current application of those laws have severely damaged the economy and injured consumers,” explained Bush.
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