UMN Expert: Antitrust laws and high tech industries

Robert Kudrle

With an increasing level of scrutiny from federal agencies on the application of antitrust laws on high technology industries, University of Minnesota expert Bob Kudrle is available to provide comment and perspective on the intersection of business, law and policy.

Bob Kudrle, Ph.D.
"Applying antitrust laws to high technology industries is something of a puzzle. Critics argue that lax enforcement has allowed for greater gains for the wealthy while either shortchanging consumers for the use of their personal data or the potential for monopoly pricing in the long run.

“Almost all agree that many dominant firms in high tech have achieved their positions through network effects: the value of the service it provides depends largely on how many other people are using it. Once established, this kind of market position can be very difficult for other firms to dislodge.

“However, for firms to maintain their dominance, it takes a significant amount of initial and ongoing investment. Any change in competition policy must guard against the discouragement of what most see as beneficial innovations. Ultimately, careful attention needs to be provided to the characteristics of specific industries when devising any policy adjustments. Both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice face daunting challenges in largely uncharted territory.”

Robert “Bob” Kudrle is the Freeman Professor of International Trade and Investment Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He specializes in economic policy, international economic relations and tax policy. A Rhodes Scholar, Kudrle holds a doctorate in economics from Harvard University and a master of philosophy degree in economics from Oxford University.

Contact information:
612-625-3338 (office)

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