Antitrust is at a crossroads. The escalating techlash has brought to the fore antitrust reformers who want to reinvigorate the antimonopoly crusade of early 20th century Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, for whom a firm’s size was a sure sign of its character. These self-proclaimed “Neo-Brandeisians” challenge the prevailing view of competition law that has long been dominated by the Chicago School, which holds up consumer welfare as its North Star and uses prices as a key navigational instrument. But while Neo-Brandeisians and Chicagoans disagree on the need to reform antitrust policy, neither places adequate emphasis on innovation. Both sides err on that critical point. As economist Joseph Schumpeter has articulated, disruptive innovation increasingly characterizes our economy. The process of what he called “creative destruction” also shapes competitive constraints. Therefore, innovation needs to be at the center of a new, dynamic approach to antitrust.
ITIF launched the Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy in the Innovation Economy and an expert panel responded to the presentation of an important ITIF report outlining a set of guiding principles for “dynamic antitrust.”