Commentators across the political spectrum have asserted that failures in our antitrust paradigm are the cause of broad societal issues, including income inequality and unfair treatment of labor—with a few claiming that outmoded and ineffectual antitrust laws create a threat to democracy. Some argue that the antitrust laws are ill-equipped to address the current competitive dynamics, particularly in two-sided markets, markets in which the consumers receive the service for “free,” and platforms that have access to Big Data. These claims have fueled calls for revisions to the antitrust laws that range from more robust enforcement to burden shifting in the merger review context, and even to the complete abandonment of the consumer welfare standard.
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