Has US Antitrust Reached A Turning Point? A Panel Discussion

The Biden administration has taken some bold moves to rein in big tech and to challenge market concentration more broadly. Who is winning this battle and why? What are the possibilities for and constraints on a fundamental shift in market power in America?

Recorded on April 2, 2024, this panel addressed these questions and more, bringing together scholars who study the history, theory, and practice of antitrust with advocates directly engaged in policy debates today.

The panel featured Gerald Berk, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Oregon; Stacy Mitchell, Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance; AnnaLee Saxenian, Professor in the School of Information, UC Berkeley; Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project; and Steven Vogel, Professor of Political Science and Political Economy, UC Berkeley. Isabella Mariani, a graduate student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, moderated.


[ISABELLA MARIANI] OK. Hello. This is hot. Welcome to today’s panel “Has US Antitrust Reached A Turning Point?” My name is Isabella Mariani. I am a PhD student at Jurisprudence and Social Policy here at the Law School. I will be moderating today’s panel.

Before we get started, I just want to thank BESI for sponsoring today’s event, for the Matrix for hosting us, and to our incredible panel of experts that I will introduce without further ado. Next to me, I have Steven Vogel. He’s the director of the Political Economy program, the Il Han New professor of Asian studies, and a professor of political science and political economy here at UC Berkeley.

He specializes in the political economy of advanced industrialized nations, especially Japan. His most recent book Marketcraft argues that markets do not arise spontaneously but rather are crafted by individuals, firms, and governments, making it a core function of government comparable to statecraft.

Next to him, we have Gerry Berk. He is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Oregon. His research expertise in American political economy and economic development, public policy, economic sociology, and social theory led him to author numerous books, including Political Creativity– Reconfiguring Institutional Order and Change and Louis D. Brandeis and the Making of Regulated Competition.

Next to him, we have AnnaLee Saxenian. She is a professor in the School of Information here at UC Berkeley. Her scholarship focuses on regional economies and the conditions under which people, ideas, and geographies combine and connect into hubs of economic activity. She has written numerous volumes on Silicon Valley, including the internationally acclaimed Regional Advantage– Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 and The New Argonauts– Regional Advantage in a Global Economy.

Next to her, we have Stacy Mitchell. She is the co-executive director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance as well as a writer, strategist, and political activist. Her work focuses on dismantling concentrated corporate power and building thriving communities and a healthy democracy. Her research on Amazon’s monopolization strategy was cited by Congress in its investigation of big tech’s dominance in 2021. And it also informed the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against the company in 2023.

And joining us on Zoom– we cannot see him, but I promise he is here–


–is Matt Stoller. He is the director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project. He has also worked for a member of the Financial Services Committee in the US House of Representatives, during which he wrote a provision of law mandating a third-party audit for the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending activities. And he’s the author of Goliath– The 100-Year War Between Monopoly, Power, and Democracy. So Steve Vogel, take it away.

I guess I’m first.


[STEVEN VOGEL] I’m going to be brief because I want to hear from these people. But I do have one slide. So I just want to pull that up.

So all markets are governed. Now, you already knew that. But what I want to suggest is that that very simple proposition logically begets some less obvious propositions. For example, market governance is not only inevitable, but it’s also not neutral. That is, any regulation, or practice, or norm is going to favor some market participants over others even if that wasn’t the primary intent.

So market governance not only defines a market. It also shapes a kind of a balance of power among the participants within that market. So if we imagine a spectrum of market governance options from those most favorable to incumbents to those most favorable to challengers– and so that’s kind of what I’ve tried to do on this slide up there, right, is imagine a spectrum.

What I’m suggesting is that there’s no point on these lines where you can say, here’s the free market right here, right, or, here’s the neutral solution, right, to market governance in this particular area. You’re always making a choice, right, that’s going to favor certain players over others. This also in turn suggests that it may be possible to alter this balance of power without necessarily impeding competition or distorting markets.

So I want to think about market governance as a balance of power. And I first started to conceptualize it this way when I was studying telecoms regulation many years ago as a dissertation– as a grad student. And it became very obvious to me that you can’t have regulation in telecommunications without the very heavy hand of government, right, as you’re moving from monopoly, right? Because you have an incumbent that has all of the wires– back in the days when it was about wires, right?

And so in order to create competition, you couldn’t just leave things to the market. You had to actually mandate that the incumbent would lease their lines to their challengers, which from the incumbent’s point of view probably sounds kind of crazy.

But that’s how it was going to work, right? And also, you have to set the interconnection charges, right– what they’re going to charge their competitors– at a rate that’s fairly favorable to those challenges, or else nobody’s going to ever enter the market, right?

And so I thought of this as kind of an analogy for the rest of market governance. Because it’s almost like you have this dial, right– the interconnection charges, right? And if you set them high, then you’re favoring the incumbent. If you set them low, then you’re favoring the challengers. And wherever you want that to be, you can adjust the dial.

Now, obviously, other areas of market governance are more complicated than that. But that kind of gave me a window, right? Or if we want to think about even another might-seem-trivial analogy, we could think about baseball, right? And you think about the balance of power between offense and defense– pitcher, right, and batter, right?

And we have these rules that says, three strikes and you’re out, four balls and you walk, right? But if you were going to set it at two strikes, right, then that would be to the advantage of the pitcher, right? Or if you were going to say three balls, then that would be to the advantage of the batter.

So my point here is that you can’t just say, oh, well, let’s just play free baseball. Right? Or, let’s just let the pitchers and the batters decide this for themselves.

And it’s less obvious with markets, but I think it’s kind of the same way, is you can’t just say, well, let’s have a free market. You have to govern that market. And as soon as you start to govern it, you’re starting to set this balance of power, which brings us hopefully to antitrust, which I think drives home this point.

Because it demonstrates how competitive markets are not the product of an absence of government regulation but actually the outcome of specific types of government action. So business people, for example, may prefer to collude than compete, as Adam Smith told us, right?

They might want to boost their rents for themselves rather than add value for customers. Or they might deceive customers or investors, right? They might be reluctant to disclose key information. So the government has to force them to compete to provide value to consumers, to provide the information that actually fosters dynamic markets.

Now, a market liberal might counter and say, well, wait a minute, the government’s not so great either. It can also constrain competition. It can foster corruption. It can mislead consumers. And well, they kind of have a point there, right?

But governments remain the critical force that can foster and sustain competitive markets and press firms from rent-extraction toward value-creation. So the alternative to government regulation, including antitrust, is not the free market but rather real-world markets thoroughly sullied with collusion, fraud, and imbalances of power.

And antitrust is distinctive because it explicitly confronts this issue of power in the sense of the market power that dominant firms exercise in a given market. It also addresses the relationships between assembly firms and their suppliers, retailers and their suppliers, employers and workers. And it grapples with the thorny questions of how to determine when that power is problematic and then what do you do about it.

And that in turn highlights broader questions of how to conceptualize power in the study of political economy. If market governance is a balance of power, that suggests that we should incorporate political power into market analysis and market power into political analysis. We can’t really understand market power without recognizing how it’s connected to political power, how market power begets political power, and how political power begets market power.

Now, market governance may reflect a balance of power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is just kind of a zero-sum relationship between the two, right? The telecoms example that I gave a moment ago may at first appear to be a very simple zero-sum situation, right? You move one way, you help the incumbent. And you move the other way to help the challenger.

But there’s also broader kind of public policy and public welfare issues involved, right? How do we balance between the public welfare benefits from the economies of scale of the incumbent versus the benefits from more competition from new entrants? Which is going to produce more innovation– the continued dominance of the incumbent or the rise of the challengers?

And should authorities be concerned that market governance could translate into disproportionate political power as well? Is that something they should be worried about? Antitrust debates have centered on precisely these sorts of questions. And nobody better to tell us that story than Gerry Berk.


[GERALD BERK] Tall order.


Tall order which I will not meet. [LAUGHS] So I just want to try to characterize the current debate over antitrust. And I want to try to situate it a bit historically. And I really just want to make two or three very broad points about the current debate over antitrust. And hopefully they’re provocative and they’ll pose some questions.

So antitrust is back. We only have to– all of us have to know that Lina Khan was head of the FTC, was just on Jon Stewart. And all my non-academic friends are sending me texts and emails saying, did you see this? Is this the person you keep talking about? [LAUGHS]

So I’ll make a bolder claim. Antitrust is back. And neoliberalism is receding. Led by a group of reformers who take their name from the Progressive Era anti-monopolist Louis Brandeis, the New Brandeisians are reinvigorating antitrust. From perches high in the Biden administration, they’ve initiated suits against tech medical and agricultural monopolists. They’re revising merger guidelines to make it more difficult for monopolists to devour startups. And they’re cracking down on predatory activities, from non-compete agreements to exploitative vertical contracts to predatory pricing.

From one perspective, the New Brandeisian project looks like enforcement after a long period of neglect, regulation after deregulation. To use the language of economic sociologists and political economists who draw from Karl Polanyi, the New Brandeisian seek to re-embed the economy in law and democracy.

Neoliberalism’s claim that one could conceptualize the market separate from law and from politics, they argue, is predictably wrong. And antitrust– that perspective generated intractable concentrations of power which were readily translated into political influence and, as Steve just told us, readily translated back into economic power.

Indeed, the New Brandeisians are part of a larger legal reform movement, the Law and Political Economy Movement, which draws self-consciously from Polanyi. And so the concepts of disembedded and embedded liberalism or autonomous versus embedded markets go a long way, I think, towards making sense of their project and making sense of the neoliberal project that they’re up against.

But I want to just try to make quickly two additional points about the revitalization of antitrust which I think don’t fit quite as neatly into the Polanyian perspective. The first point is about the significance of anti-monopoly and of monopoly thinking, and antitrust in a much bigger political project, and understanding the nature of anti-monopoly to the nature of monopoly as a problem to neoliberalism and what it might signify for the current project, the broader project of, if you want, a rebuilding the left in the United States.

So I want to make that broader point. And the second broader point is a point about the nature of expertise. Like, what happens– there’s a certain challenge, I think, that the anti-monopolists are up against, the New Brandeisians are up against right now which really challenges very particular kinds of expertise.

So on the first issue, the antitrust reform, as I say, may have a significance way more than meets the eye. By this, I mean that neoliberals made denaturalizing monopoly a kind of foundational part of their project. And so re-naturalizing it through antitrust may be much more significant than meets the eye.

And as I said, second, neoliberal antitrust sought not only to embed markets from law and democracy. It– I’m sorry. [CLEARS THROAT]

The history of this that neoliberal antitrust– [CLEARS THROAT] I’m sorry. Sorry. [LAUGHS]

Anyway, so the first issue– I went off my notes. The first issue is about the broader significance of antitrust. At first blush, although antitrust might look like a pretty obscure policy to most Americans and in fact to many academics, it’s important to recognize just how important the attack on antitrust was to early neoliberalism.

Most narratives of neoliberalism that we have pretty much begin in the 1970s when a movement for deregulation, privatization, decertification of unions, and so on flowered in response to the economic crises of that decade. But it’s really important to see that German neoliberals who exported neoliberalism to the United States at the end of World War II launched their attack on social democracy initially with an assault on anti-monopoly law.

Where classical liberalism once saw a monopoly as an anomaly, Hayek, Röpke, von Mises, and others noticed that social democrats saw monopoly as ubiquitous. And so they thought if they could denaturalize monopoly, many of the justifications for collective bargaining, for regulation, for public ownership, and for social provision would evaporate.

Hayek famously exported this perspective to the free market project at the University of Chicago in 1949. But less well known is how the free market project became the antitrust project within three short years. Led very early on by Robert Bork, it not only cleared the ground for deregulatory antitrust 25 years later, but I contend that it cleared ground historically for neoliberalism more generally.

So the history doesn’t happen spontaneously in the 1970s. Lots of ground-clearing occurs. And lots of ground clearing occurs in the antitrust project over a long period of time.

The antitrust project’s ambitions, however, were not merely to denaturalize monopoly. Bork and his colleagues in the Law and Economics Movement sought nothing more– I’m sorry, nothing less than to save what they thought was the crisis of the rule of law in mid-twentieth century. They really thought that they were going to save the crisis of the rule of law from subjectivity or judge-made law from incoherence of concepts and from capriciousness. These are pretty broad claims.

Drawing on neoclassical price theory, Bork proposed to subordinate law to a deductive theory of market behavior which could be held to standards of scientific method. In antitrust, for example, this meant jettisoning a century of legal doctrine devoted to evaluating economic and non-economic trade-offs in antitrust that came up out of statutory law for a single standard consumer welfare. It also meant, for example, reconceptualizing statutory standards of unlawful market behavior by asking whether they were economically rational.

While it’s not at all clear to me and to others who look at this that neoliberals succeeded in realizing their promise to set the rule of law on a determinate foundation, something else is really clear to me. And what’s clear to me is that these promises succeeded in reconfiguring the identity of antitrust professionals, of the antitrust bar of judges and of administrators of antitrust.

And so in addition to re-embedding markets in law and democracy, I think today’s antitrust reformers also face a pretty difficult task of reconfiguring the nature and role of professional expertise in antitrust and probably more broadly. I think there’s really good evidence that the New Brandeisian understand this challenge.

And instead of elaborating why I think this is so– in fact, I’m working on a paper that tries to make this argument more broadly– I want to end with a quotation from Jonathan Kanter, the current chair of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. In 2022, Kanter told the Antitrust Division of the New York Bar Association– and here, I quote– “we must be mindful that economics and expertise more broadly are merely tools to understand facts relevant to a particular case.

Courts should use economics to address questions of facts, not to resolve questions of law. And where there are natural experiments and direct evidence of competitive harm,” Kanter concludes, “economic theory must give way to market realities.” So I’ll end there. I like that quote. [LAUGHS]

Great quote.

It is great.

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] Gerry, you’re a hard act to follow.


[GERALD BERK] Why? I got completely confused in the middle of it. [LAUGHS]

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] You’re a hard act to follow. I think that’s a brilliant set of comments. So I’m going to talk about antitrust and the way it’s back on the agenda. And I’m going to really do two things. First, I’m going to talk about the global sweep of antitrust right now. And secondly, I’m going to talk about some of the intellectual ferment around antitrust ideas, which is certainly evident in the neo-Brandeisians’ project but goes well beyond it.

So first, I’m sure you have all heard about the cases brought by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the FTC against the major tech platforms. There are two cases now against Google; one each against Amazon, Apple, and Meta.

But I want to also point out that antitrust is not just a US phenomenon. It’s truly a global trend. There are currently antitrust cases against Alphabet from the European Commission, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, Japan’s Fair Trade office, the Competition Commission of India, the Federal Economic Competition Commission of Mexico, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. That’s a lot of places around the world that are freaked out about the power of American tech giants.

I could go on. The Netherlands has a case against Apple, as does the European Commission and the British Authority, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense. And I could go on. These cases are happening everywhere. There is a lot of global concern about companies which grew up in the US but really are the most global companies we’ve certainly seen in my lifetime.

2024 also marks the entry into force of the European Digital Markets Act, which was passed a couple of years ago but now will be enforced starting around now. I think it represents the most significant legislative act to date designed to increase competition in digital markets. The Digital Markets Act targets the largest online platforms, what they call gatekeepers, with measures designed to prevent them from abusing their market power or engaging in anti-competitive acts and to allow smaller and newer players to enter the market.

The thing that is surprising from a US perspective is that the DMA, actually unlike the GDPR, which predated it, has real teeth. The possible sanctions against tech companies include hefty fines of 10% of worldwide operating revenues or, in the case of repeated infractions, 20% of global revenues. That’s a big chunk of cash from companies like Apple and Google.

It also provides options for structural remedies– in other words, breaking up the companies. It’s way too early to see the effects of the Digital Markets Act now. But it’s already spurred companies like Apple, Google, and Meta to change their products.

OK. Now I’m going to talk a bit about the intellectual ferment that is supporting antitrust reform. I think that– well, we’ve talked about the neo-Brandeisians, who is I think the most visible and also the most widely published– and sort of they have been forced to. They have been writing for several years. And they are now forced into policy action based on the ideas that they had published.

But there’s also been for the past couple of year– decades, really– what we would call post-Chicago economics, which is sometimes referred to as “modernist,” “mainstream,” “progressive,” “centrist.” All of these terms are just used to describe their position between the neo-Brandeisians and the traditional Chicago school of consumer welfare advocacy.

The post-Chicago school relies on economic theory and analysis to justify stronger antitrust rules and enforcement. And they’re developing new empirical tools to measure market power. They’re looking at everything from network effects, to entry barriers, to anti-competitive conduct and vertical foreclosure, to the power of information and data, and information-based market failures.

One of the most dynamic centers of new ideas that challenge the consumer welfare standard is ironically the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and State at the University of Chicago, the very same place that Bork and his cohort developed the consumer welfare standard. The Stigler Center since 2017 has held an annual conference on antitrust.

They bring together practitioners and theorists to talk about antitrust. And they’ve sort of become– increasingly addressed this. The first one in 2017 was, is there a concentration problem in the US? which the answer was yes. And the more recent ones are, what comes after the consumer welfare standard? So there’s now a large body of literature out there from these people, which is very helpful and very interesting.

But just to start early, though, the 2019 research brief on the market structure and antitrust for the digital platforms identifies the simultaneous presence of extremely strong network effects, very strong economies of scale and scope, marginal costs close to zero, extreme complexity and opacity, and a global reach that further reinforces these four points.

And they say “this unique combination creates an unprecedented tendency towards monopolization. Given this tendency, a general conviction that markets will naturally self-correct can only be based on faith, not historical precedents, since there are no similar historical precedents.” And I think that’s an important point. These are companies that look very different from any companies that we’ve seen in this country before.

They talk about the lack of effective entry into the space, increasing returns from ownership of data, and the well-established biases that further entrench the power of the incumbents. By these defaults– we’ve just seen, if you followed the Google case at all, that Google now spends $18 billion a year to Apple– millions, sorry, sorry– to be the default search engine.

They do that for a reason. There’s a real strong reason why you would want to have your search engine be the default on all Apple devices. They also observe, as we’ve already noted here, that market power is supplemented with unprecedented political power in several forms, including the very deep pockets that pay for vast amounts of lobbying and other forms of influence in the US and abroad.

The passage of the– the big tech companies were very heavily involved in lobbying in the EU against the Digital Markets Act. Other forms of influence– the complexity that shields them from scrutiny and their ability to project their interests equivalent to the national interest. In Europe, we would call the national champions.

They conclude that the combination of market and political power is dangerous and makes political intervention politically difficult with the cost of inaction increasing dramatically over time. So this combination of increasing returns and political power– this is really a snowball that’s moving very, very fast. And we need to act quickly.

In 2023, the Stigler conference addressed the future of enforcement beyond the welfare standard. And I’ll just list a couple of the ideas that came out of that one just to give you a sense of where people are thinking. Filippo Lancieri and Tommaso Valletti presented a paper called “If You Are Very Big, You Should Make, Not Buy.”

And they advocate strong rebuttable structural presumptions in merger control. That means that mergers of rival firms with large shares of the same market– those are illegal by presumption. You can rebut it. You can try to rebut it. But by presumption, those are illegal.

And they say this doesn’t punish size. The presumption simply says that large firms are more likely to have market power wherever that market power comes from. And those firms should prima facie make rather than buy.

So first of all, we’re sort of pushing very hard back on this idea from the Borki-ian team that big reflects efficiency simply. And they say, no, market power is really important wherever it comes from.

Eric Posner has an article called “Toward a Market Power Standard for Merger Review.” He identifies merger laws– one avenue for curbing corporate influence and calls for similarly a market power standard.

He says, “it’s important to see that the implicit normative bias of the market power standard contrasts sharply with the normal way that economists”– like Gerry was talking about– “think about competition policy. An economist would normally look approvingly upon a merger to monopoly that is a merger to monopoly that is efficient.” And then he concludes, “it is not bigness as such that is bad but concentrated power in private hands that is bad.”

Finally, I’ll just summarize two very recent papers that I thought were quite interesting. And then I’ll say a word about a paper that Gerry and I recently published. There’s a 2024 paper by lawyers Mark Lemley and Matthew Wansley called “Coopting Disruption”.

They argue that the tech giants have learned how to co-opt disruption by identifying potentially disruptive technologies in advance using their money to influence the startups developing them, strategically doling out access to the resources that startups need to grow, and seeking regulation that makes it harder for the startups to compete. [LAUGHS]

When a threat emerges, they buy it off. After they acquire a startup, they redirect its people and assets to their own innovation needs. These seemingly unrelated behaviors work together to enable the tech giants to maintain their dominance in the face of disruptive innovations.

So we think about– when I wrote about Silicon Valley in the ’70s, and ’80s, and ’90s, there was always a new technology. And that led to new market leaders. That has stopped. We’ve had 30 years where the same team is in power. New technologies have come along, but they have not been disrupted.

So this is the mechanism, they argue. And they also show in this paper that the three new technologies– AI, virtual reality, and automated driving– are right now being co-opted by the same companies. And I think we can see this with AI. It’s very clear. The biggest companies have the deepest pockets to pay for the compute power that is required for AI.

So their three proposed reforms include prohibiting incumbent monopolies from discriminating in access they provide to their data or networks based on whether the company is a competitive threat. They have a recommendation about preventing people from serving as officers or directors of their competitors. So you don’t really want to have people who represent an incumbent also directing– this is an old idea, but being directors on incumbent– you don’t want incumbents controlling the direction of startups.

Third, they say, ensure that incumbents can’t use regulation as a mechanism to undercut competition and make it presumptively illegal for incumbent monopolies to acquire startups that might compete with them. So you’re starting to hear some very strong themes about the market and political power of incumbent monopolies. And they’re thinking mostly about tech here.

Finally, I’m just going to mention two European authors, Nicolas Petit and Thibault Schrepel, wrote a paper called “Complexity-Minded Economics”. And they suggest that we need to move beyond the categories that are used both by Bork and by the neo-Brandeisians of market and firm and think more broadly about– and they want us to look at insights from complexity science.

And I’ll just highlight two of the insights that they see in corporate behavior. One is feedback loops. And the other is the role of uncertainty in corporate dynamics. And those are very important. When you think about how are we going to regulate, how are we going to deal with these corporations, it’s very important to have a more realistic, I think, understanding of the behavior of these companies today as opposed to the behavior of companies 100 years ago or even 50 years ago. So they call for a complexity-minded antitrust method.

OK. Last, I’m going to briefly summarize a paper that Gerry and I just published. We spent some time investigating the development of the infrastructure for data processing in the cloud. This started when we learned about antitrust action against Amazon Web Services, the premier cloud provider.

What we learned is that Amazon Web Services has strengthened its cloud ecosystem by appropriating cutting-edge databases from small but highly innovative customers, renamed them, and incorporated them as part of its own cloud offerings. OK? Now, this process, unfortunately sometimes referred to as strip-mining, is not strictly illegal because these products are open source. These are open source software-based companies. And their licenses allow software to be reused.

So they have legal support, they will pursue antitrust action, they testify to congressional hearings, all with the aim of reducing the dominance of Amazon Web Services and restoring competition. I think from this account you can see– we have an image and that our research suggests– that Amazon behaves in a very centralized, sort of hierarchical, and predatory way towards its suppliers.

We also discovered through interviews with software engineers a different model, a more contributory model coming out of Google Cloud Platform. Now, you have to– when I tell this story, I want to say whatever I say about Google Cloud Platform does not account for their advertising arm or many other parts of their activities, which I think need to be addressed by antitrust.

But Google Cloud Platform developed cutting-edge data infrastructure through a partnership. Rather than appropriating it from startups, they built partnerships with a network of startups developing databases and other cutting-edge software as well as with established companies and with open source foundations.

We focus on the development of an open source product called Kubernetes, which was developed by Google Cloud, donated to the Linux Foundation, and has become very, very successful. And it represents a very accelerated pace of innovation in the space that we’re looking at. And what we argue is that this decentralized mix of competition and collaboration, which is actually reminiscent of the earlier decades in Silicon Valley, appears more generative, this network model, than the predatory Amazon Web Services model.

And we conclude that, rather than trying to directly reduce the power imbalance between platforms and independent companies through litigation, antitrust should consider seeking to channel platforms from the autarkic Amazon Web Services model toward a more contributory ecosystem by making partnerships more attractive than mergers possibly by enlisting new actors like open source foundations to help design and monitor antitrust remedies, including interoperability, partly because– and this is back to the “Complexity-Minded Economics” argument– this technology is moving very, very fast.

I’m not sure that regulators are going to be able to keep up with the pace of the changes. And the open source foundations, for example, are much closer now to the dynamics of the industry– how the technology is evolving.

And I guess I’ll just conclude by saying, we look at firms in isolation when we talk about antitrust. But I think it’s important to also look at the ecosystem of networks and inter-firm relationships, whether there’s predatory behavior not just against competitors but against their suppliers, vendors, potential partners. So I will close there and pass it on to Stacy.

[STACY MITCHELL] Thank you. Well, thanks so much for having me on this panel. And lovely to see you all this evening.

So to start really with the question that’s posed by the title of the panel, I do think that antitrust not only is at a turning point. But it’s made the turn. And while it’s not exactly clear where the road we’re now on is going to lead and there’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of thinking to be done ahead, I don’t think that there’s really any chance that we’re going back.

I think the Chicago school is dead. I think the consumer welfare standard is dead. And we’re not going back there.

I wrote about some of the reasons for this in an essay for the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement– some of the reasons that I think that we’ve really made a durable shift in approach. But the one I want to highlight tonight is that anti-monopoly has really a growing level of public engagement.

Not only is antitrust and concern about corporate power– poll very well– we have large numbers, 75%, of both Democrats and Republicans who think the largest corporations have too much power. There’s overwhelming support for the idea that big tech companies are monopolies and, indeed, majority support for the idea that they should be broken up.

But it’s not just that these ideas are popular. It’s also that anti-monopoly has a growing political base– and by that, I mean people whose livelihoods are directly affected by concentrated corporate power and who have a deep stake in this project of resurrecting antitrust.

And so we see ranchers and slaughterhouse workers coming together to advocate for taking down the big meat packing companies. We have all kinds of small business groups who have joined with delivery drivers and warehouse workers to call for breaking up Amazon.

We’ve got local grocers who are pushing for a resurrection of the Robinson-Patman Act and really calling for a fair playing field; musicians, and concert-goers, and independent venues calling for a breakup of Live Nation. We’ve got independent pharmacists across the country who’ve got engaged about the sort of incredible imbalance of power within that industry.

All of these folks really I think are kind of anchors in the body politic that mean that there is a durability to this issue. In many cases, these are folks who did not necessarily know much about antitrust a few years ago but have realized there is a body of law out there that is designed to address the very thing that threatens their existence. And they have now latched on to that. And that is a genie that is not going to go back in the bottle, as it were.

I think it’s really instructive to look at the way that the word “monopoly” has kind of waxed and waned over the last 100 years in public discourse. Back in 2017, I did some work looking at this question. And I looked at– Google has this thing where you can see how often a word appears in books. So I looked at that.

I went and looked at newspaper archives– how often are there stories about monopoly power by decades through the 20th century. I looked at State of the Union addresses– how often does this show up. I looked at party platforms. I looked at the AFL-CIO’s kind of political agenda in a given year.

And you can see across all of those sources this pattern of, monopoly is a growing part of the public discourse in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s. And then it sort of starts to ebb a bit in the ’60s. And then it ebbs a bit more in the ’70s. And then it really just nosedives. And it really disappears from the public discourse.

And I think that period in the ’60s is sort of interesting. Because we have a very aggressive antitrust enforcement. We have really strong Supreme Court cases that come out of that period. And yet, antitrust is becoming a little bit more of the domain of experts, a little bit more out of the public eye. Obviously, the public also had a lot of other issues to focus on.

And because anti-monopoly policy had been working relatively well, I think concentrated power was not necessarily top of mind. But in a variety of ways, antitrust sort of moves out of the public spotlight. And that goes through the ’70s and I think made it very vulnerable. I think when Bork– excuse me– the Bork folks came in, there was a vulnerability. There was an ability for them to really shift policy when no one was really paying attention or understood what the consequences were.

And we’ve been through this 40-year period now, 40-plus-year period until recently where antitrust was the exclusive domain of experts. It happened behind– I almost want to put “experts” in quotes. It happened behind closed doors with the agencies offering nothing to the public. I mean, even during the Obama years, you think about the US Airways and American merger– initially challenged. And then a few months later, the agency– I think it was the DOJ– was like, no, we’re not going to challenge this. And they cut a deal with small concessions and let it go through.

And there was no explanation to the public. Like, why is it that this was somehow harmful, and now suddenly it’s not? Mergers routinely approved without any kind of public statement at all– just no engagement at all with the idea that this is part of our democracy. This is lawmaking. And citizens need to be involved.

That has now changed really quite dramatically. And we just have this growing level of engagement from a whole bunch of different constituencies. That’s been driven partly organically. It’s been driven partly by advocacy organizations who’ve been out engaging in organizing people.

And it’s also been driven by the actions of the folks who are now leading the two antitrust divisions. I mean, one of the very first things that Lina Khan did when she came in as chair of the Federal Trade Commission was to have open meetings where the public could speak. And it’s an extraordinary range of people. I mean, you’ve got nurses, and pharmacists, and farmers, and all sorts of folks who are on those meetings speaking to the Commission.

And Jonathan Kanter has also very much championed this idea. And he’s particularly talked about how the agencies should use, quote, the “language of the people.” “Not using technical language,” he has said, “will ensure that Americans can engage in,” quote, “critical discourse about how their economy is structured.”

Because these constituents who are now really engaged in this– these stakeholders are now really engaged in antitrust have roots in both red and blue America, the politics is interesting. And the support for Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter is quite strong and spans to some degree Republicans as a result of that.

And then I want to just briefly turn to this question of, what follows the consumer welfare standard? If that has been the North Star for how antitrust has been done for the last several decades, now that we are heading in a different direction, what are some of the elements of this new approach?

And I think these things tie back into this notion of– the two things I want to highlight tie back into this notion of public engagement, and I think also speak to making choices about the balance of power explicit, and also to the nature of expertise, which is– so there’s two that I want to highlight.

One is, if the Chicago school approach has been characterized by complex economic modeling of future price effects as the primary way we decide whether a merger should go through or whether there’s a problem in a market, that is increasingly discredited. Because among other things, we’ve discovered that those models are often very inaccurate. I think John [INAUDIBLE] work speaks very much to this.

But they’re also fundamentally anti-democratic. They privilege a certain kind of information and a certain kind of measure. We have economists who plug things into a black box, and out comes an answer. It’s a very expensive process. Those corporations who have more money are able to do more of this kind of analysis and use it more effectively. There are many, many reasons why this has been a bad approach.

And we are moving. towards, I think with both the agencies, really changing the question not to, what is this mysterious crystal ball future that we’re going to inaccurately predict? and instead to the question of, what can we tell right now about market structure? When we look at the grocery market in Washington state, what can we learn about it? And what does that tell us about whether we should say yes or no to the Kroger-Albertsons merger, for example?

And this really shifts the dynamic into something that I think is much more grounded in reality. Because we are looking at things that we can observe and measure now. And this is not a case against using economic analysis to evaluate facts and so on. But it is really a matter of looking at what we can observe now.

I can remember– I’ve done a lot of research over the years on what’s happening with pharmacies. And I can remember having these conversations with economists who worked at the agencies or who were sort of attached to the Chicago School about the fact that independent local pharmacies are cheaper by many studies.

They offer better health care. There are all kinds of reasons they’re effectively out competing. And yet, they’re disappearing. And a big part of that reason has been the vertical integration of CVS and the fact that they control reimbursement rates for their small competitors.

Now, if I stopped someone on the street and said, here’s the situation in this market, they’d be like, wow, that’s a problem. Right? It’s common sense. But in having conversations with some of the economists attached to the Chicago school, it was like, no, no, no, our theory says that this is more efficient and this is the way to organize things. And no matter how much reality you tried to introduce into that, it was– kind of couldn’t penetrate.

And so we’re shifting into a mode where the expertise of people who actually participate in markets– of local business-owners, of farmers, of workers– matters, that the actual reality on the ground matters. And so this shift in direction, I think, touches on the sort of question of expertise that I think Gerry posed.

It also is much more fundamentally democratic. Because all of us as citizens can engage in this question of, does our grocery market work right now or not? do we need more consolidation or not? in a way that none of us can engage with the kinds of analysis that was done before.

And then just briefly, the other key theme that I think is emerging is one of fairness. You go back and look at the statutes. And the word “efficiency” does not appear anywhere in those statutes but the word “fairness” does and the concept of fairness.

Indeed, the FTC is charged with preventing unfair methods of competition. We have the Robinson-Patman Act, which is very much organized around the notion of fair markets when it comes to retailers. And the thing I wanted to highlight about this kind of growing approach of making fairness really central is that it is a core part of how we live in a democracy and have a sort of self-governing society. It is so important.

Like, buying into our collective project as a democracy really hinges on the idea that we all believe that we’re equal under the law, that things are fair, that the economic system operates fairly. Otherwise, why not drop out? Why not withdraw? Why not flirt with the idea of electing a strong man, right?

If the system isn’t fair, if it’s rigged by the powerful, that I think heads us in a very bad direction. So I think I want to say that this shift in antitrust, this focus on fairness to me feels like a way to get us off the authoritarian path and back towards building a true democracy. And with that, I will hand it, I believe, to Matt.

[MATT STOLLER] Hey. Can you guys see me and hear me? All right. I’m not getting a lot of feedback. So I’m just going to assume that you’re laughing at all the jokes that I tell– just FYI.

OK. So it’s pretty hard to accept that things are going well when you have companies like Boeing and Ticketmaster, right? It’s just kind of difficult to be like, yeah, things are solid, right? And those are a result of the consumer welfare standard and the constitutionalization of economics.

I’m going to talk a little bit about that just to respond to what’s been said, which is– this is a great panel. And I’ve really enjoyed it. And then I’m going to try to do a little bit of quantification of why this antitrust regime is different– so what they’ve done differently.

But I’m going to start with a story. Because I think something that, well, actually, Gerald sort of highlighted, but AnnaLee and Steven got into it too, which is sort of the identity of the practitioners in this world.

So I give a lot of talks. And I have no qualifications whatsoever except that I write a newsletter– and a lot of people seem to read it– about antitrust. And I’ve done a fair amount of writing and research. But I’m not a lawyer. I’m not an academic. I’m just a person who writes, and talks to business people, and writes what they say.

And I was invited sort of clearly resentfully by the American Bar Association Antitrust Section to talk at a panel that they gave in their spring meeting, which is, like, thousands of antitrust lawyers that got together. And the title of the panel was “Biden Antitrust– All Bark, No Bite?”– question mark. Right?

And it was me. And I was the person defending the Biden antitrust agenda. And then it was four antitrust lawyers who had worked at the FTC or DOJ and were now in private practice defending the usually dominant firms. Although, one of them was just at Morgan. So there was a little bit of balance.

And I’ve spoken in a number of places. I speak to a lot of right-wingers. I speak to left-wingers. And I have never encountered anyone as mean as that audience, as just totally hostile.

And I thought I was going to pitch them and say, hey, you guys are– it’s an amazing time for antitrust. You are painters. And it’s Florence during the Renaissance. And you can go get clients. It’s in the news. This is amazing for you. And they weren’t having it. They were furious.

And at one point, one of the panelists said about something I was talking about– it was actually about local pharmacies and how there wasn’t some global market for local pharmacies. She said, he’s not even a lawyer. And that level of– and I didn’t realize it was an insult. Because I’m like, yeah, I’m not a lawyer.

But then afterwards some people were like, that was really rude. And I realized it was an insult. Because there really is a defined vision of who should be in charge. And it’s a highly technocratic one.

What I think is different about the movement that I’m a part of and that Stacy is a part of is that it is an explicitly political project, right? We’re coming into this. And we’re saying, antitrust is not a technical question. And competition policy and economic policy– this is not a technical question.

It’s explicitly political. And it belongs to the public. And we should have these debates not in the forums controlled by the technocrats, like the ABA or other areas, but in legislative bodies in the popular press, where people are. And that’s been a fundamental part of what the new competition policy-makers have sought to do.

So just to touch on a couple of things that Steven, and Gerald, and AnnaLee talked about, I think what’s interesting is they– all markets are governed. All market governance is not neutral. And there’s a balance.

This seems like a fairly obvious point. The question is, why is that so hard to accept? And I think it gets to some of the things that Gerald talked about. There’s almost a metaphysical challenge in trying to argue that a society can be governed.

And it’s because we’re dealing with what the neoliberals built in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, which was the constitutionalization of economics. And this isn’t just antitrust. But it’s the creation of a language across policies that guide commerce.

So the most obvious ones would be the Federal Reserve, which used to be run by business people and bankers and now is run by macroeconomists; the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which handles cost-benefit analysis– that’s an economist veto check on regulations– antitrust with consumer welfare standard; and then the scoring of legislation for deficit spending. That’s a highly technical question of what models you’re using. It’s very political, but the politics is hidden.

What has effectively happened is the neoliberals inserted veto power over all lawmaking around commerce in the late ’70s, early ’80s and built a whole infrastructure, an intellectual and cultural infrastructure, around those veto points a set of moral reformers that we call economists. And we’re wrestling with that.

All of those institutions are still in place except for the consumer welfare standard. That’s fallen apart. And some of the others are starting to fall. But what we’re really dealing with is a whole constitutional order.

I would say the other part of this dynamic– because this constitutional order was designed around creating and using a language that normal people can’t access, a.k.a. The language of technocratic neoclassical economics. But another important part was to eliminate private rights of action or to eliminate the ability to go into court. This has happened through arbitration agreements but also a series of precedents and legal changes that make it much harder to form, say, class actions or to get damages for antitrust suits.

Historically in the US, our very important constitutional cases in the 19th century, 20th century were decided– they were private rights of action. By eroding the ability to bring these kinds of suits, what you do is you create a lack of balance. And you sort of create a European-style framework where you have government versus business, maybe labor versus business

Instead of the more traditional American framework, which is, ordinary citizens can bring, can go to court, and can actually get redress for harms. That’s an unusual system. And when you pull that out of the American order, it gets very unbalanced. So this is, I think, part of what’s happening today. We’re dealing with sort of a series of ill-fitting clothing that was put into the American order in the late ’70s, early ’80s.

So I want to offer one observation on something that Gerald said which– I think is pretty common to assume that the new competition policy framework, the new anti-monopoly framework, of which antitrust is a part, can help reconstruct the left. And that may be true. And I can see it sort of happening. But I wouldn’t stop there.

I will read you the topic of a Rosenkranz Debate, which is something that the Federalist Society has every year. The Federalist Society is the preeminent society for conservative lawyers. And this was in 2021. And it was resolved “concentrated corporate power is a greater threat to individual freedom than government power.” And that was a– and I think you saw a significant age split among people who thought who won that debate.

So in the last Federalist Society annual conference, there were three different panels that were on monopoly power. And the Supreme Court is hearing a lot of suits that have to do with questions of monopoly power that are not necessarily framed that way but are bringing up a lot of interesting questions– the latest one was a suit on whether the government was engaged in censorship by talking to platforms. And Gorsuch actually raised the question of concentration.

You saw the NetChoice suit, which was about conservatives in Texas and Florida trying to regulate tech platforms. Concentration came up at the Supreme Court there. And you’re seeing it over, and over, and over. So just as we’re seeing kind of Boeing is unavoidable and Ticketmaster are unavoidable, it’s affecting everyone. And it’s causing a rethink more broadly.

And it’s also causing a global rethink. I mean, this is– AnnaLee’s point is really important, that this is not just– the constitutionalization in the US is pretty profound. But it happened, I think, in other places. And I think in some ways it’s more deeply rooted in Europe than it is in the United States.

OK. And I generally agree with everything that Stacy brought up. There are new set of political coalitions that are sustaining antitrust. And the consumer welfare standard is pretty much dead at this point.

OK. So I’m just going to go through just a couple of statistics about how the Biden administration’s competition policy is doing. And to be clear, when I talk about the Biden competition policy agenda, I mean the FTC and Antitrust Division. There’s a couple of other regulators in– bank regulators, securities regulators.

But about 80% of the administration is kind of not on board. They’re not opposed necessarily. Some of them are opposed. But as every administration is, there are lots of different factions. So what I’m talking about is just the antitrust agenda/competition policy people when I talk about the changes that are happening. And I want to just focus on that area.

OK. So as Gerald noted, Lina Khan was on Jon Stewart last night. And what Jon Stewart said in the interview was actually really important. He said that Apple– he used to have a show for Apple. And he wanted to interview Lina Khan at that show. And Apple wouldn’t let him. They also wouldn’t let him do anything on AI. And that’s a big deal, to say Apple effectively is going to shape speech in a dangerous way.

But it’s weird. It’s also a weird thing for two reasons. And one of them is, obviously it’s an authoritarian power grab by a tech giant to shape speech. But also– and this is something Gerald brought up– why is an antitrust enforcer on The Daily Show? This is not something that is normal or traditionally has been normal. Although, I think it is being normalized.

Another example of this– and I’ll bring a different pop culture reference– is, in 2020 or 2021, there was a clue on Jeopardy that was the FTC’s seal. And it said, “this agency protects US markets from unfair competition.” And it showed the seal. It was a visual clue. And it showed the seal of the FTC. And no one got it. No one had heard of the FTC.

And this is something a lot of the FTC alums really loved. They liked that it was a technical little place where they could do their little thing and they never got noticed by Congress. But the public didn’t really even know they existed.

And then, I don’t know, a couple of weeks ago, Lina Khan was a clue on Jeopardy. And the answer was the FTC. And I think multiple people were buzzing in aggressively. So there’s something to be said for the fact that people have heard of the agencies that are doing antitrust. And that is, I think, a meaningful achievement.

But surprisingly, there are not great statistics around antitrust enforcement. Like, how do you actually just look at what the Biden administration is doing and compare it to the Trump administration, the Obama administration? The anger is obviously real. I watch CNBC a lot in the mornings.

Wall Street bonuses are down substantially. And I’m just going to read you a quote from a Bloomberg article. Between 2021 and 2023, there was as much as $11 trillion less mergers and acquisitions than macroeconomic fundamentals would suggest. That’s a big deal. But it could be financing, interest rates and changes like that, as opposed to antitrust. I suspect it’s a mix.

So what is the competition authorities– what have they done? Well, they’ve restored Section 8 of the Clayton Act– interlocking directorates. There were some directors of Warner Brothers that just resigned this week. But they’re doing it across private equity– restoring Robinson-Patman Act, a ban on non-compete agreements– really trying to go after the systemic monopolization that’s happening in private equity– Clayton Act Section 3, which is about exclusive dealing, resurrecting unfair methods of competition statute– that’s what Stacy talked about, which really is centering fairness because it’s in statute.

Also, there are consumer protection elements here. There has been a complete revolution in privacy rulemaking. There’s an important case called the Kochava case that says, we’re no longer to do the notice and consent framework for privacy rulemaking. You just can’t collect sensitive data anymore. These are revolutions that are happening kind of out of sight– something on what’s called Orange Book fraud, which is a way that pharmaceutical companies are cheating with patents, and then of course the monopolization claims.

So there wasn’t a single major DOJ monopolization claim from 1998 to 2020. In terms of– there was no monopolization claims against big tech. Trump actually changed that he brought two antitrust suits, monopolization claims against big tech– Biden has brought four. And there are probably a few more on the way. These are big suits. These are trillion-dollar suits. They’re not small ones.

And with that, I want to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Because that’s just kind of a laundry list. So how do you do an apples-to-apples comparison between institutions that don’t bring suits and those that do? How do you compare Obama to Biden or Trump to Biden? Well, one way to do it is to look at merger challenges.

There’s always mergers. And the agencies have to look at the mergers and decide whether to litigate or not. But even that doesn’t totally work because you can look at merger challenge statistics and they’re easily gained. So if you file some paperwork saying, we’re not totally sure about this merger, but we’ll let it through if you do a small divestment, that counts as a merger challenge as much as, say, challenging a trillion-trillion acquisition.

So for example, the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger– because there was a small divestment that didn’t mean anything, it was considered a merger challenge. And some of the grocery store mergers that Stacy were talking– they’re counted as merger challenges.

So what I looked at was something different which I think is harder to hide, which is just trials, merger trials. There are some problems with the statistics. But fundamentally, a lawyer has to go to court and risk conflict and embarrassment. And the political leaders at DOJ and FTC– they have to face professional repercussions.

There are rumors– I think fairly credible ones– that you get blacklisted if you bring major suits. And you leave the division. There are things like allegations– systemic defense firms now systemically allege professional misconduct, regardless of whether it’s true.

Both Kanter and Khan have been the subject of recusal allegations. And I don’t– and then there’s of course a lot of mean-spirited rhetoric, but that’s just politics. But there are real costs to bringing cases.

OK. So the first four years of the Obama administration, there was one merger trial at the Department of Justice. And this is during the height of the financial crisis– too big to fail. And they brought one case to trial. And it was a small company that had to do with, like, small online advertising and recommendation sites. There was about one and a half a year for both agencies.

So if you include the FTC, which does a lot of hospital mergers, there’s one and a half trials a year in the first four years of the Obama administration. The second four years of the Obama administration, they amped it up. They got new leadership. It was two and a quarter trials a year. Trump actually did more. It was two and a half merger trials a year. And then the Biden administration– in the first three years, they’ve done four trials a year.

And there’s a little bit of an unfair comparison there because it takes about a year to put together a complaint that you can bring to trial. So the Biden administration’s first year was really– they couldn’t really do that much because they had to sort of start from what the Trump administration had brought forward. And there wasn’t that much there.

But that’s just trials. You eyeball the trials. And it seems clear the more recent trials under Biden are bigger. And they have more politically powerful targets.

So the one that I was talking about– the second merger trial under Obama was in 2013. And it was US versus Bazaarvoice, which was a merger of medium-sized firms that made software for reviewing products. So Trump’s people went after marine water treatment, chemical combinations, and things like that.

It wasn’t all small. The AT&T-Time Warner was a big one under Trump. And there was Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna– these were big health insurance mergers.

But Biden enforcers are just in a different league. They’ve gone after trillion-dollar firms– so Microsoft, Meta– powerful corporations– American Airlines, Booz Allen, JetBlue, Illumina, Simon & Schuster, UnitedHealth Group– companies we’ve really heard of, companies with a lot of political power that can push back, companies that have former presidents speaking at their summits and things like that.

So if you just look at billion-dollar trials– so trials where you have a billion-dollar-plus merger, Obama had half a trial a year. That was $1 billion plus in terms of an acquisition target. Trump had a half a trial year. And Biden has 2.4 a year of billion-dollar acquisitions.

So the percentage of billion-dollar merger trials– as a percentage of all merger trials, Obama’s were at 27%, Trump’s were at 20%, and Biden’s are at 58%. And Obama’s– the first term is very, very lax. The second term was much stronger.

But the point here is that, where you do apples-to-apples comparison, Biden’s people are doing more trials. And those trials are different. They’re big game hunters. They don’t always win. Sometimes they lose. But it’s a very different regime.

And that’s one of the reasons I think you can see that there’s so much anger and that the FTC chair is on The Daily Show and people on Jeopardy actually know who she is. So I hope that’s kind of helpful in contextualizing some ways to understand what’s going on in terms of the ratcheting up of legal aggression against consolidated corporate power.

[ISABELLA MARIANI] Thank you all so much for these wonderful presentations. I will get the discussion portion going with a question or two for the panel. And then I’ll open it up to the audience.

My first question is– and anybody, obviously, can answer. But I was thinking for Gerry and AnnaLee, bringing it back to the digital economy and the platform economy in particular, data-mining is an important precondition for the open source cloud computing that you research.

And your argument calling for a collaborative model for the cloud ecosystem is really centered around the acceptance of data-mining, as it’s already happening. And the companies have this incredible amount of proprietary consumer data. And that data is integral to the firm’s ability not only to innovate and generate profit but also to obtain market and political power.

And so if the neo-Brandeisian framework is concerned precisely with limiting such dominant market and political power of these large firms, what do we make of data-mining itself? And is antitrust a tool that can address the practice of data-mining if it is a concern?

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] First of all, data-mining and data-processing I’m going to distinguish. OK? Data-mining by corporations– basically collecting personal data and then reselling it, reusing it– we can affect that. And we should affect that because that is the way they target advertising.

Google makes all of its money on advertising. We should not be allowing these companies– not just the big digital platforms, but these data-resellers from being able to collect personal data and then resell it and reuse it to target us with ads. The EU is much further ahead on protecting consumers against that. California actually has a decent head on what I would call privacy legislation.

Data-processing, which is what we described in our article, is something that you and I could do. I mean, we use data. Data in the cloud is about, I want to get a data set, and I want to learn something from it.

So I would distinguish data-mining, meaning– or I would– yeah, “data-extraction.” I don’t know. How do you want to say it?

But I don’t think data by itself is a bad thing for people to use or to be able to process in the cloud. You can learn a lot from data. I don’t have a big objection to that. I do have a problem with corporate collection of personal data that is then used to make money.

And I think we need to– we have had countless efforts in the US to try to pass privacy legislation that would protect consumers from the use of their data. It hasn’t passed yet. I don’t know. I mean, it’s so important.

[GERALD BERK] I guess I’d make one point, which is, we talked repeatedly to somebody who had worked in open source for a long period of time from the foundation space who was extremely helpful to us. And at one point, we were talking– I think at one point we might have asked him, what’s the– he’s a person who has spent a lot of time trying to generate conditions for interoperability in the cloud, right– so was head of an organization called Cloud Foundry whose project was at the beginning of the cloud to generate an open cloud.

And he said to us at one point– I think we asked him like, what’s the most important thing that government could do as a remedy in an antitrust suit? And he said, they could force the big-platform companies to pay for the movement of data. Because it’s so expensive. Like, it’s so ridiculously expensive.

So from his point of view, your kind of question– data monopoly– for him, you could do a whole bunch of other things which would have no effect on the openness of cloud computing if you didn’t have this capacity to move data across platforms. And even if you have rules, it still can be so expensive. So as a remedy, he thought that was a critical thing.

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] Yeah. Interoperability in the different clouds across the different clouds [INAUDIBLE]. And I just want to underscore one thing I said before, which is, data is a source of increasing returns. Once you have– I mean, Google has so friggin’ much data right now. And they continue to collect. And it just generates itself. Because now they target more people. And now they get more data.

So the positive feedback effects of this are kind of daunting. And it’s why you can’t get a competing search engine right now. Because you have Bing. But Bing will never have as much data. The search results will never be as good because they can’t get the kind of data. So this is something that we should be addressing.

[ISABELLA MARIANI] Thank you. My second and last question is for Stacy. But again, of course, anybody can answer if they’d like. So we’ve discussed a lot about the relationship between markets, and market power, and democracy. And I want to bring it back to, first, the question about, how democratic or technocratic should these decisions about governance really be?

And related to that, is antitrust then a sufficient tool or merely a necessary tool to repair a market of concern? And if not, what other complementary policy or political tools, social tools should we utilize to address issues of concentrated market power that threaten both democracy and economic outcomes that we might want?

[STACY MITCHELL] Hmm. Well, there’s a lot rolled in there.


Yeah, I feel as though– I mean, to take the first part of the question, I think that these are questions that are really fundamentally about how do we want to organize our society, what is the right balance of power between competing interests, what are the values that ought to underlie what we’re doing. And so as Matt and many others on the panel said, those are inherently political questions.

And part of the success of the neoliberal project has been obviously treating those like they aren’t political questions– that they’re sort of things that can be decided by experts, or that there is a free market, or what have you. And so they’ve removed that conversation.

And so we are now in a place where for decades people have not– we’ve sort of treated the economy as like, oh, well, government can regulate this or not regulate it, as though there’s just this sort of one dimension as opposed to, well, what should the rules be? Like, what actually matters to us? How do we want to structure markets? How do we want to organize these things?

And so I feel like, at this moment, not only the broad public– citizens– but also just a lot of people in advocacy circles, and a lot of elected officials and staff in Congress, and so on– like, we’re kind of rusty on actually navigating some of those questions of how we structure the economy, that there is not– my organization works a lot on the issue of scale, for example. Like, when is it that we actually need larger institutions?

Like, we come from a perspective of really believing that smaller institutions have a lot of upside. Smaller businesses, smaller institutions, things that are more vested in community are– you end up with a closer relationship between people who make the decisions and people who feel the impacts. And therefore, you get decisions that are better. And so that’s an overall framework. But we also need larger entities. We need national companies in certain sectors and so on.

So this question of in what places would we want to have policy that really favors localness and smaller scale, and when do we actually need larger scale, and what should be the guardrails that we put on it– like, that’s not a conversation that’s really happening anywhere, even though I think it’s really crucial. Because it’s really industry-by-industry, market-by-market what the right answer is.

And to take the second part of the question, looking around right now, we have so many markets that are broken. Matt brought up Boeing with its planes falling apart in mid-air– the real loss in terms of the kind of loss of engineering expertise and R&D that a company that actually had to compete all these years would have had.

We look at the rise of food deserts. I mean, just the number of places that don’t have a grocery store is extraordinary. And that’s directly a result of concentrated power in the retail sector. And I could go on and on, right? We could all sit here– hospitals. We could list all of these markets.

I think antitrust can do a lot to create an environment where it’s possible for those things to regenerate. And in fact, the FTC back in the ’50s and ’60s documented a couple of markets that had been highly concentrated and, because of antitrust enforcement, became deconcentrated over time.

But I do think we need to bring this kind of lens of what are the right questions and what do we value to other areas. And we’ve got tax policy. We’ve got, where is capital going? When we think about rebuilding grocery stores and rebuilding other kinds of businesses, our highly concentrated capital– banking system– is really another huge barrier to that. So I think that there are a lot of tools out there. And the bigger challenge is, how do we get our politics to have the more substantive conversations?


[MATT STOLLER] Can I pick up on that for a second?


[MATT STOLLER] One of the kind of core questions that we have to figure out– and I say that as kind of a Brandeisian– and I think speaks to what Stacy was talking about, which is, how do you take the framework that’s most firmly embedded in antitrust in a few areas– regulatory policy, junk fees, and– and spread that across all governance? Because that’s how we used to govern. And that is a real challenge. We don’t have the institutional capacity to do that. It’s happening in very arbitrary– not arbitrary, but sort of weird ways.

And there’s a great story of, the Biden administration put out an executive order on competition policy in 2021 saying, everyone in government has to focus on this. Most executive orders go nowhere. They’re just for show. But this one has gone somewhere. And a lot of people have actually done stuff in government and they didn’t have to. There’s all these reports that keep coming out of the Pentagon being like, yeah, we’re doing this report because of the executive order.

But the best one is the Forest Service. There was one producer of aerial retardants for forest fires. And it was a monopoly. And it was owned by a defense contractor who was like, oh, cool, that’s another monopoly I can own. And the Forest Service–


–bought– yeah, his name’s Nick [INAUDIBLE]. It’s amazing. The Forest Service just sort of said, OK, well, we’re going to start buying from this second company because of this executive order. They clearly wanted to anyway. And the second company made better, cheaper, more environmentally sustainable stuff. But they also had a rationale to do it.

How do you embed that in our policy-planning? I mean, what I’ve learned, I think, since the Biden administration’ competition policy framework has started is that antitrust is the last line of defense. You have to embed this stuff up front. Antitrust is too– I don’t want to be like, it’s too late. Because you can still fix things. But it’s–


It’s pretty far gone. And the other point I kind of want to offer is that I’m a little skeptical about the European efforts and the kind of privacy– we need regulations and federal law on data. I respect the inspiration for that. But I haven’t seen real enforcement from the Europeans on GDPR or DMA. And–


And I am seeing real enforcement in the US on privacy. And no one is paying attention to this for some reason. But there have been cases to limit data-sharing on everything from medical– fertility data, location data; cases against Avast, GoodRx, Premom, BetterHelp, Flow Health all from the FTC.

There was just a private right of action against Google Chrome where they had to delete huge amounts of data that were collected illicitly. And beyond that, one of the Google antitrust cases is exactly about what AnnaLee was talking about, which is scale in search engines and whether rivals are going to be able to essentially be allowed to use the scaled data that Google maybe will collect.

So it does seem like there’s a lot happening. But it also feels– and I don’t really know how to convey this. It feels like no one knows that anything good is happening. No one knows that there’s governance that’s actually coming out and changing things. And I don’t really understand why.

And that’s a problem we have to, I think– and I don’t mean people in this room. I mean, in general, the Brandeisians– we have to figure that out.

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] Thanks. Yeah, thanks for the panel. I wanted to go back to the quote from Jonathan Kanter and think about that in connection with the concept of the constitutionalisation of neoliberal economics. And so on the one hand, Kanter seems to be pushing toward this view– and I think Heather Boushey has this view as well in the White House– that economic theory has just become less important because the statistical, big data, empirical side has become much more important.

So there’s still the concept of the home-run economics paper that’s grounded in economic theory and advances it. But it also needs the big data and the statistical innovation. But a lot of the singles, doubles, and triples papers don’t have as much as the economic theory these days, I think.

So first, is that where we’re going? And is that desirable? And then, second, or is it the case that we need a theory to beat a theory? And if that’s the case, what theories are contenders and things that we should be thinking about?

And so I know that, in the antitrust space, some people are going back to mid-20th century industrial organization economics, which kind of comes out of the Cambridge school of heterodox economics– Joan Robinson, Chamberlain, Joe Bain, et cetera– conduct-structure-performance.

But also, in this building, a lot of people do social theory. And so is there a role for theories that come out of the tradition of social theory in addition to heterodox economics or I guess Jean Tirole and the post-Chicago economics? So I just wanted to see if people had thoughts on that. Thanks.

[GERALD BERK] Yeah. At one level, I think the answer is just very simple. I mean, that quotation– [LAUGHS]. One of the more enlightening things for me in looking at this was to read the mostly private antitrust lawyer Gary Reback’s book Free the Market! on– and Reback– from the outside, he was he was counsel to Netscape. And he pushed the government to do the Microsoft case.

And you read that book. And he says, we had such obvious evidence of tying contracts, a whole range of violations. And he said literally– you read the narrative. And he says, we could not bring those cases until we found an economist who was willing to build a model that we could bring to court. Like, you literally could not get a judge to listen. Even if the judge didn’t understand the model, you couldn’t get a judge to listen without that expertise. Right?

And the easy big story of that book is that Microsoft loses the case and Netscape disappears, right– I mean, that’s Reback’s story– simply because of time.




In fact, Reback’s the guy who put us onto the strip mining case, right, onto Amazon Web cases. Because basically, what he said to us– he said what Matt said. All antitrust cases are fighting the last 10 years battle.

Yeah, yeah.

Right? And so if models and expertise are standing in front of the way of moving forward– I think that’s Kanter’s point. Like, Kanter literally is saying there’s a whole bunch– like, there’s a body of precedent that can be drawn on legally without economic theory at all, or without social theory, or without political theory.

All that said, I think you’re exactly right. All that said, I don’t think that– when I raised this question of the identity of the antitrust bar, I honestly don’t think that that identity of the bar is going to change according to this Kanter logic, right?

And so I think the question then is, what kind of– so then you look at, where are the scholarly lines? And I think they’re coming from a lot of different places, right? They’re coming from– I think Anna’s account of how important it is that the Chicago school is changing is really critical. So that’s coming from that angle.

I think there’s a part that– I started this thing out by saying that the Law and Political Economy Movement, which is really a growing movement and, as I understand it, has the same funding as BESI– [LAUGHS]– right, you know– and is growing as a result of that, right– and that’s a movement that’s much more influenced, from what I can see, by economic sociology, and Steve’s kind of political economy, right, and the kind of work that Fred has done for such a long period of time.

So I think that there are multiple strains right now. And I think it’s critically important to alter the way the bar thinks. But I really think that Kanter is pushing in a different direction.

And it’s important around that question of the constitutionalization of economics– because it’s not merely that economics had a different model earlier on. But there’s a wonderful article written a long time ago by Alex Field, the economist from San Jose, I believe–



Well, he was at Stanford.


He didn’t get tenure–

He didn’t get tenure.

–at Stanford for writing an article like this. [LAUGHS] Right? But it’s a wonderful article called “The Trouble with Neoclassical Institutional Economics.” And a point that he makes in that article is, he says there’s a moment in economics where economics tries to endogenize everything else.

And he says economics as a field once left a bunch of questions to others. Right? As a field, it once left the law to political science. Or it left the law to the law, to lawyers, right, and then asked questions within the context of those boundaries.

And that’s not a question of the nature of the models, I think. That’s a nature of sort of where you start conceptually. And it’s hopeful to me that a guy like Luigi Zingales in the Chicago school says, forget all the models.

At one of those conferences I was at at the Stigler Center, he stood up at the end. And he said, I used to think we were on the side of the people, the Chicago school. And I don’t think that anymore.




[AUDIENCE MEMBER] A question as it relates to global competition and institutions– so back in the late ’80s and ’90s, from a political economy standpoint, we were always concerned about [INAUDIBLE], and how big companies were forming, and the US companies and our industries weren’t structured correctly.

And obviously, we were– whatever you think about China and the United States, China economy is very central control. US is more capitalistic. But yet, we want to have strong companies on both sides to compete. So how do we deal with that from the old media world? number one.

Then number two, on the institutional side– I went to a case study with a bunch of MBAs. And all the MBAs agreed change was needed in the markets. But everyone was concerned about, what are the institutions that get us there– that allow us to be competitive, that protect consumers, good for the social good?

And so what institutions– because the legal process doesn’t work. We only do about four trials a year. And yet, do we have to change the FTC? Do we have to have an EPA of technology to be able to have the expertise and to move quickly enough to protect society and maintain a competitive environment? How do we do that? What’s the institutional changes?

Just your first question.

Oh, I’m sorry.

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] Lina Khan put out something very recently addressing this idea. Because a lot of the guys in Silicon Valley will say to you, the reason that we need to stay big is because we have to compete with China. And the first thing she says is, look at Boeing. [LAUGHS] That’s what you get when you have monopoly. You lose your edge. You lose your competitive strength.

I think that monopoly is bad. I think China is going to suffer for having such big companies that don’t have competition. I think we have to just recognize that– I think the China threat is way drummed up by the industry.

And I guess I want to just use this opportunity to quickly insert one other thing. I think we’ve been talking very positively about how things are going with antitrust, which– with Matt and Stacy, everybody is– we’re sort of in a happy mode. There is huge business opposition to this– huge. And they have a lot of resources. And they will push hard. And they will use ideology to influence us. They will use their money to lobby.

And I think that we have to be aware that this is– and I want to actually just– I just pulled this up. There’s a paper by these guys at– Luigi Zingales, Filippo Lancieri, and Eric Posner– “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the US.”

And what they conclude after doing a lot of research and data-collection is that enforcement– it wasn’t really about the ideas– that the ideas spread– but that the decline in antitrust enforcement happened, meaning it was engineered by unelected regulators and judges who didn’t really care that much about antitrust but when they coincided with the interests of big business, which appears to have exercised influence behind the scenes.

And so I think that a lot of this stuff– this is pushing back at the heart of business. And they are not happy. [LAUGHS] And I think this is a huge– I mean, I guess I would say not only is this about values, which it is– it’s about values, and it’s about politics– what kind of society do we want? But it’s also deeply, deeply political in a way that a lot of other things are not.

So I think that we have to be aware and sort of savvy about how we handle that. And I think we have some pros here in the policy world between Stacy and Matt. But it’s easy to overlook that. So I just think focus on making America more competitive, more innovative, more resilient– all the things that I think the Biden administration is trying to do.

I wanted to–

Yeah, go ahead.

Oh, I’m sorry.

Go ahead.

[STEVEN VOGEL] I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts on this. I mean, you’re addressing a meta question, right, which is, what drives competitiveness? Is it more competition or less, right? And the truth is, there’s some of both. And it gets very complicated. So I’m not going to actually answer that meta question.

But I will tell you one illustration that goes back to wars with [INAUDIBLE] and all that, which is that, if you think about semiconductors, right, and the time in the 1980s when we were having the semiconductor wars, the presumption of the American side of that case was that the Japanese had this unfair advantage because they were vertically integrated, right? And we had these independent producers. And so we were arguing that case.

Well, fast forward a few decades. And it turns out that the integrated producers are not doing so well. And because we had broken up the American antitrust policy, maybe not by design but by effect had broken up the value chain, that’s what brought us the wonders of the internet and bottom-up innovation. So I guess my point is, the answer to that question itself is a moving target both across sectors and across time.

And then the other thing I was going to say in terms of your, what institutions do we need– again, that’s also another meta question. But I think it’s ones that are more resilient versus regulatory capture. So that could mean greater state autonomy. It could mean greater state capacity. It could also mean what Stacy and Matt were talking about– the ability to integrate interests beyond just the incumbents into the decision-making process.

So again– what was I going to say about that? Oh, I know what I was going to– is you could say, well, the US is hopeless because we have regulatory capture. But again, I think there’s a lot of variation both across time and across sectors.

And so what I like to think about is, what’s the greatest success story and the greatest failure of the United States political economy of the last 50 years? I’d go with the digital revolution on the plus side and the financial crisis on the downside, right?

And that kind of– and if I were going to track those, which is way beyond our conversation today, I would go to the resilience, and the power, and the capacity of the relevant institutions, including antitrust institutions in the relevant time– like, the ability to break up AT&T, for example.

Anyway, I won’t go into the details there. But my point is that I see those as variables, not constants, which maybe is a little bit of a hopeful note in the sense that, if we’ve done better and worse over time, then maybe we can do better sometime in the future.

[STACY MITCHELL] I was going to add the simple point– and I think picking up on something AnnaLee said, which is I think the institution that we most need is Congress.


And there is a– I mean, what we’re seeing with the Biden administration in the antitrust agencies, also at the CFPB and in sort of other pockets, are people who are finding and dusting off laws and tools that have been buried in a drawer and ignored for a long time. And there is a lot there. And you can really see what creative regulators can do and also that there are laws on the books. There’s a lot more authority there that can be tapped.

At the same time, the just absence of Congress’s functionality– we are really– I was struck during– one of the most important things that Congress has done in recent years was the big tech investigation run by the House Judiciary Committee– and really a remarkable show of what it looks like when Congress focuses deeply, does real serious research, holds substantive hearings. It comes out with a piece of analysis which sets the stage for a number of things, I think including the appointment of Lina Khan to the FTC, that are really important.

And if you can just imagine for a moment what it would be like if we had that kind of activity going on regularly, it would just make such a huge difference in so many ways. And that to me is kind of talking about all of the powers that be that we face and what are the danger, what are the ways in which this project is going to fall off the rails. And the inability despite popular will to have a functional Congress is really pretty striking.

[GERALD BERK] Can [INAUDIBLE] quick meta answer to the meta question, which is, it’s just interesting that antitrust and industrial policy are emerging at the same time. And so if you think about what’s going on in competition policy and you think about Jake Sullivan’s address before Brookings, you can see how– and so the question for me is, do those two things find a way to work together? Right? Is industrial policy not picking champions, but is industrial policy targeted towards market structures in very interesting ways?

So one of the things that Anna and I came to see in looking at the role of open source was we began to see that you could think about state subsidies to open source foundations as a form of competition policy. And so I think that those linkages are incredibly important for policymakers to be thinking about.

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] Yeah. I mean, just to build on that, I think that we need new institutions as well as reinvigorating the old ones. Because I do think that this environment, this technology is moving even faster. We are leaders, but it’s moving even faster. And it’s going to require some innovative thinking about what kind of institutions will be appropriate for this era.

So let’s invite all the political scientists, and sociologists, and– [LAUGHS]– people off the streets. I mean, I think that thinking about how we can connect better, get out of our ivory tower is probably a really good idea when we think about these issues.

So I’m going to say something.

Matt wants to–

[MATT STOLLER] I’m going to say something. And I’m going to kind of prod a little bit because I’m just a troll. And I just got to do it. I–


I don’t think the left– I think the left has serious problems. And I don’t think that this is like, oh, big money is trying to kill us. The ACLU is lobbying for big tech at this point. They whole sort of framework of civil rights has kind of fallen into this very weird dynamic where it’s just building due process for large corporations.

The left doesn’t really like small business. Like, Stacy is an anomaly in that she talks to a lot of small business people and takes them seriously– And I do, too. And I mean, the left just doesn’t like them. Right? They don’t like them. And they don’t like national security. They think it’s icky.


Sorry, but you’re not going to govern if you don’t like– if you don’t have a way of doing commerce because business is boring to you– and that’s what a lot of lefties think– just not going to govern. And also, the bummer attitude is weird, right? Like, oh, four trials a year, that’s not enough. I was talking about murderer trials.

There are four federal trials against trillion-dollar big tech firms. That’s a big deal. That’s not a small thing. The realtors, the whole real estate buying and selling business just got restructured. Like, privacy rules are being completely restructured right now. Industrial policy is changing huge swaths of America.

It’s like, how– I mean, it’s just weird to me that there’s this pervasive culture of bummer-ism. It’s why I like to talk to practical plaintiff’s lawyers. I don’t like talking to academics. Academics are– I mean, I’m going to be like, no offense, but I just said something rude to all of you. Like–


You guys are not relevant. And it’s really frustrating. There’s a ton of really interesting stuff going on. But it isn’t in the– I mean, people say, oh, ivory tower, and stuff. But it’s like, if you’re being influenced by economic sociology, like, cool. Why don’t you talk to the business people that are being destroyed by Ticketmaster? That’s way more important.

So I don’t know. I just– there’s an element here of– and I was lefty for a long time and then– and I go back and forth. Like all lefties, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday, I’m like, I’m no longer on the left. And then Mondays, Friday, I’m radical left. You know, right? But–


There’s an element here of, grow up and act like winners, right? Because we’re actually winning an ideological fight. And the ideological fight is much bigger than what we have to deal with– than what we’ve dealt with so far.

There’s a really good article in American Affairs, a conservative magazine, by a guy named Erik Peinert called “the Fissured Corporation”, in which he traces a strategic choice in the late ’70s, early ’80s for America to focus on capital-light business models. Because there was a feeling we couldn’t compete and we didn’t want to compete in making things.

So that’s when you saw the copyrighting of semiconductor plans, the patents for genetics. It’s when you saw the change in antitrust policy and you saw the vertical restraints. And so a company like Apple, which has a relatively small number of employees but is actually spread– if you include Foxconn and all of its network of suppliers, has millions of employees– they no longer had to be genuinely vertically integrated because they could use contracts and IP to control whole industries.

But that was a whole part of American strategy. America is going to be the place that did the media, that did the finance, that did the design. And the grubby stuff, that we have to pay people to work for a living– that’s going to be done abroad.

And we’ve built our whole society around that. And we’ve built the left around it. And I’m sorry, but it’s true. And we have to rethink that. Because you get things like Boeing. But it’s like, if I want to find an aerospace engineer to figure out how to fix Boeing, there’s no left-wing aerospace engineers. They’re all conservatives, right?

I mean, it’s true in the oil industry. It’s true in so many industries in this country. The people that– and not all. I mean, in the tech industry, you’ll find a lot of liberals and stuff. But there are so many places where the people who really know how to do things– they are– we’re just so far away from– as kind of a– after criticizing the left, now I’m speaking as someone on the left.

But we’re so far away from the real economy and how business is done. And I think that too is a function of neoliberalism. That is how neoliberalism has really affected the left and created this weird world of cocooned academia.

[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] So look, I agree with almost 90% of what you just said. But there’s– I mean, you may think you’ve won the ideological war. But the ideological war is being fought in Silicon Valley by business people, too. And they are saying things like, China is going to take over. I mean, you’ve got Eric Schmidt in DC all the time telling us that we have to keep investing in AI or we’re going to fall behind and that– I mean, I think that–

[MATT STOLLER] Eric Schmidt got me fired from a think tank. I’m aware of what–


[ANNALEE SAXENIAN] Yeah, I know that. I know that. But these guys–


Read what Marc Andreessen has to say. There is a lot of really crazy, I think, ideology coming out of business at least in our geography right here. And I think we need to be really aware of and not just sit on our laurels. I’m not going to fight with you about, academia is out of touch. Yeah, sure.


Oh, no, I’m not–

That’s fine. I agree.

[MATT STOLLER] That’s not my point. I’m not saying– I think the problem that we– I’m not– I agree with you. Obviously there’s a lot of money. We’re up against organized money. I don’t want to be like, I have people going through my trash. But you are aware of what happens when you go up against big money. And that is what– many more impressive people than are dealing with that.

But I also think there’s a serious intellectual problem of how do you actually restructure the fissured corporation. Like, how do you think of new IP models? How do you think of new models for data? How do you construct a world where we’ve globalized all of these industries and rely on cheap shipping?

And you have– very clearly, China is an aggressive, hostile power for whatever reason. What do you do about that? I mean, you can’t just set up– we don’t build ships anymore, right? These are real serious problems that we don’t know how to fix.

And I think more than anything else, that is why policymakers are paralyzed. They just don’t know what to do about Boeing. Boeing has a lot of lobbyists, but that’s not the problem. We just don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to fix it.

[ISABELLA MARIANI] On that wonderful note, please help me in thanking Steven, Gerry, Anna, Stacy, and Matt, our wonderful panel.


And of course, courtesy of BESI and the Matrix, there is a reception outside. So please join us. And we can chat more. Thank you.