Monopsony: Antitrust Law and Economics

Overview

When owners of major league baseball teams collude in dealing with free agents, when universities meet to avoid a bidding war for the most desirable students, when large manufacturing or processing facilities fix purchase prices of raw materials at artificially low levels, and when dealers rig the bids in public auctions, monopsony power is being exercised. Drawing on microeconomic theory and antitrust law, this broad-ranging work explores the implications of monopsony, or buying power, for antitrust policy. ...
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Overview

When owners of major league baseball teams collude in dealing with free agents, when universities meet to avoid a bidding war for the most desirable students, when large manufacturing or processing facilities fix purchase prices of raw materials at artificially low levels, and when dealers rig the bids in public auctions, monopsony power is being exercised. Drawing on microeconomic theory and antitrust law, this broad-ranging work explores the implications of monopsony, or buying power, for antitrust policy. Roger Blair and Jeffrey Harrison argue that monopsony is more prevalent than usually supposed. Here they offer a systematic treatment of the topic, demonstrating that whether monopsony power exists because of a dominant buyer or collusion among buyers, it can cause social welfare losses analogous to those occasioned by monopoly. Blair and Harrison demonstrate that monopsony affects all areas of antitrust policy, including the law of monopolization, collusion, and merger policy. In so doing, they develop several policy tools, such as a "Buying Power Index" and a guide to its practical application. They also discuss bilateral monopoly and offer a principled basis for distinguishing between socially desirable and undesirable cooperative buying.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691043098
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/1993
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
1.1 Some Recent Examples 4
1.2 Plan of Book 12
2 The Antitrust Laws and Monopsonistic Forms of Conduct 13
2.1 The Antitrust Laws: An Overview 13
2.2 A Taxonomy of Monopsony Cases 25
3 Economic Theory of Monopsony 36
3.1 A Simple Model of Monopsony 36
3.2 Collusive Monopsony 42
3.3 Organizing and Implementing a Buyer Cartel 44
3.4 Problems for Collusive Buyers 45
3.5 Measuring Buying Power 47
3.6 Market Definition and the BPI 54
3.7 The Buying Power Index in Practice 57
4 The Antitrust Response to Monopsony and Collusive Monopsony 62
4.1 Monopsonization 62
4.2 Monopsonistic Abuses 68
4.3 Monopsony and Merger Policy 81
4.4 Monopsony and Price Discrimination 88
5 Cooperative Buying Efforts 93
5.1 The Theory of Joint Purchasing 94
5.2 Antitrust Responses to Cooperative Buying Efforts 99
6 Bilateral Monopoly 109
6.1 Countervailing Market Power in Antitrust 110
6.2 The Bilateral Monopoly Muddle 112
6.3 Limitations of Countervailing Power Considerations 121
7 Monopsony and Antitrust Enforcement 130
7.1 Public Enforcement 130
7.2 Private Enforcement 132
8 Conclusions, Disclaimers, and Questions 153
8.1 Predatory Buying 154
8.2 Antitrust Standing and Buyers from a Collusive Monopsony 156
8.3 Cooperative Buying and Bilateral Monopoly 158
References 161
Index of Cases 171
General Index 175
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