This Article demonstrates the relationship between socio-economics and antitrust law. It uses socio-economics to both deconstruct the current economic foundation of antitrust policy and to suggest ways to improve that policy. There are four steps in this presentation. Part II examines the core elements of the economic approach to antitrust and its shortcomings, if any. For those even moderately versed in economics, it will note that the analysis begins at the most basic level. Obviously, antitrust is designed to make markets more competitive. But that goal is merely a means to the end of greater consumer surplus and allocative efficiency. Part of what follows is designed to pierce the meaning of those goals. Part III describes why current antitrust, at least at the Supreme Court level, cannot be squared with the economic approach and, thus, reflects a narrow political philosophy. In fact, in this respect—because it is faith-based—there may be little room for a socio-economic perspective. That approach is non-falsifiable and, while important, it is resistant to a thoughtful analysis. In Part IV, the discussion turns to how the limitations discussed in Part II may provide the predicates for altering current antitrust policy. While Part V does not reveal a plan for revamping antitrust, it instead provides portals through which those who accept that today's approach is imperfect may want to look.
Jeffrey L. Harrison, A Socioeconomic Approach to Antitrust: Unpacking Competition, Consumer Surplus, and Allocative Efficiency, 49 Akron L. Rev. 409 (2016), available at