Marking the centennial anniversary of Standard Oil Co. v. United States, we argue that much of the critique of antitrust enforcement and the skepticism about its social significance suffer from “Nirvana fallacy” — comparing existing and feasible policies to ideal normative policies, and concluding that the existing and feasible ones are inherently inefficient because of their imperfections. Antitrust law and policy have always been and will always be imperfect. However, they are alive and kicking. The antitrust discipline is vibrant, evolving, and global. This essay introduces a number of important innovations in scholarship related to Standard Oil and its modern applications and identifies shifts in antitrust that will keep the field energized for some time to come.
Barak Orbach & D. Daniel Sokol, Antitrust Energy, 85 S. Cal. L. Rev. 429 (2012) available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/319