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REVIEW: Antitrust Law.


Richard A. Posner, author of 'Antitrust Law, An Economic Perspective', has written a second edition to his first book published in 1976.

The newly released book, titled 'Antitrust Law', is an extensive revision to the first edition as many developments, both legal and economic, have occurred in the antitrust field since 1976. The second edition has dropped the sub title - 'An Economic Perspective' - as it implies that there are other perspectives that could be introduced in additional books. However that is not the case.

Posner - a chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; an authority on antitrust law; and an arbitrator in the Microsoft antitrust suit - was once a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and continues to teach there as a senior lecturer. Posner, who has also produced a variety of books on legal subjects throughout his career, uses his books to pass his opinions and knowledge onto a wider audience.

In 'Antitrust Law' Posner discusses the exposition of the consensus view. He argues that economic theory provides a solid basis for the belief that monopoly pricing is presumptively inefficient in the sense most commonly used by economists in discussing issues of monopoly and competition.

After Posner establishes that the only goal of antitrust should be to promote efficiency in an economic sense, he provides a brief overview of the antitrust laws. The book is then split into three additional parts; Collusion; Exclusionary Practices; and Administering Antitrust Laws.

Part Two discusses the secret agreement for fraudulent purposes and the best methods of preventing the act. Posner discusses the courts' and enforcement agencies' inability to determine the existence of collusive pricing, and the two methods used to deal with fixed pricing and oligopoly pricing. He then goes on to examine major Supreme Court cases that have attempted to prevent the emergence of conditions which favour collusion by forbidding mergers between competing firms.

The third section of 'Antitrust Law' focuses on a set of practical rules designed to enable courts to deal with exclusionary practices, which covers competing firms agreeing not to compete with one another or firms seeking to intimidate, destroy, deter or exclude competing firms from the market. Posner then shows how these rules are applied to the new economy.

CONCLUSION: This book provides the reader with a detailed and extensive insight in to antitrust law and its enforcement. Written as concisely and clearly as a book on this subject can be.

Title: Antitrust Law Author: Richard A. Posner Published by: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 0-226-67576-9 Price: USD35.00 Reviewer: Caroline Turner
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Publication:M2 Best Books
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 17, 2002
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