We have finally reached an inflection point in antitrust enforcement globally. Economy-wide phenomena like growing concentration, rising margins, sharper inequality and the anxiety over the conduct and influence of digital platforms are shaking up the “conversation”. Populist, New Brandeis, radical – the sedate antitrust knitting community is having to re-think the scope, role and tools of intervention, against public and political opinion that it has become an irrelevant specialty sport. Economists need to participate in the policy debate, or will be split between theorists in ivory towers and number crunchers cutting market shares in merger after merger. We certainly live in interesting times.
Dr Cristina Caffarra is Vice President, Head of European Competition at Charles River Associates.