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February 03, 2022

ABA Antitrust Law Section begins series of debates on competition policy on Feb. 10

CHICAGO, Feb. 3, 2022 — The American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section is launching an innovative, free series of interactive cutting-edge discussions on significant competition and consumer protection policy issues, with the first debate scheduled Feb. 10 focusing on the theme, “Is Consumer Welfare in Hot Water?”

“Is Consumer Welfare in Hot Water? A Hot Tub-Style Debate” Sponsored by the ABA Antitrust Law Section

Thursday, Feb. 10, noon-1:30 p.m. EST

How to watch:            
Livestream – register here

The virtual program will feature former government enforcement officials and legal and economic thought leaders about one of the most hotly debated current legal and public policy topics: What should be the guiding focus of U.S. (and perhaps global) competition law?

The discussion will focus on whether the Consumer Welfare Standard — the prevailing analytical standard used in U.S. antitrust law, which focuses on price, output and quality — has been too permissive in allowing the rise of corporate power and market concentration. Panelists will debate whether consumer welfare should be abandoned or modified to include a broader array of policy objectives, such as labor and social issues. Multiple significant legislative proposals on this topic are being considered by Congress, state legislatures and governments around the world.

The panel will be moderated by Bill Kovacic, law professor at The George Washington Law School and a former chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He will be joined on the panel by:

§  Tommaso Valletti, head of the Department of Economics and Public Policy at Imperial College Business School in London and the former chief competition economist of the European Commission.

§  Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director at the Open Markets Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

§  Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focused on competition issues.

§  Carl Shapiro, professor at the Haas School of Business and the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, and former deputy assistant attorney general for economics in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

§  Dennis Carlton, professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and former deputy assistant attorney general for economics in the DOJ Antitrust Division during the George W. Bush administration.

§  Maureen Ohlhausen, chair of the Global Antitrust and Competition practice at Baker Botts LLP and former FTC acting chair and a commissioner.

The livestreamed event is free and open to the public. For media credentialing and registration, please contact Bill Choyke at [email protected]

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