Bulletin

Bulletin

Bulletin

Killing Innovation?: Antitrust Implications of Killer Acquisitions

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Amy C. Madl† Killer instinct is a key business asset. Firms live and die by their strategic choices, and the desire to outcompete rivals colors most business decisions. While many firms strive to win market share on their merits, economists have recently identified an anti-competitive practice—killer acquisition—that enables incumbents to maintain market share by burying, […]

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But Facebook’s Not a Country: How to Interpret Human Rights Law for Social Media Companies

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Susan Benesch† Private social media companies regulate much more speech than any government does, and their platforms are being used to bring about serious harm. Yet companies govern largely on their own, and in secret.  To correct this, advocates have proposed that companies follow international human-rights law.  That law–by far the world’s best-known rules for governing […]

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Applying International Human Rights Law for Use by Facebook

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Michael Lwin† In recent years, social media platforms have been beset with hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, incitement of violence, and other content that cause real-world harm. Social media companies, focusing solely on profit-maximization and user-engagement, have been largely asleep at the wheel during outbreaks of violence in countries such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, […]

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Regulation and Innovation: Approaching Market Failure from Both Sides

Yafit Lev-Aretz† & Katherine J. Strandburg†† Regulation is often claimed to be the enemy of socially desirable innovation because of factors including innovation’s unpredictability and reulation’s compliance costs. In this essay, we bring two intellectual property scholars’ perspectives to bear on the question of regulation’s impact on innovation. We offer a novel, yet intuitive, analytical framework […]

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Section 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act Does Not Call for Universal Injunctions or Other Universal Remedies

In Trump v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court faces the question whether the Administrative Procedure Act’s provision governing scope of judicial review instructs courts to give universal injunctions – injunctions telling the government not to apply a challenged agency action to anyone, not just the plaintiff. That provision, section 706 of title 5 of the United States […]

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Haystack in a Hurricane: Mandated Disclosure and the Sectoral Approach to the Right to Privacy

Tyler J. Smith† Privacy law is an extremely complex and complicated problem. And, unfortunately, the United States remains one of the only Western countries without comprehensive consumer data protection laws. Until the federal government decides to address the ubiquitous collection and use of data by corporations with omnibus legislation similar to the EU’s GDPR—or until […]

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Wall Street and Progressivism

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William S. Laufer† & Matthew Caulfield†† On the margins of the partisan political divide is a groundswell of anti-corporate rhetoric conjuring images of an unbridled, unregulated, and uncontrollable corporate America. This Essay considers a casualty of this progressive imagery: serious legislative and regulatory reforms to ensure corporate accountability. Demonizing all corporations does little to promote […]

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Regulatory Takings Without Confiscatory Returns

In regulated industries, including telecommunications, electric power, and natural gas, there has been a dramatic substitution of price cap regulation (PCR) for rate-of-return regulation (RRR). Despite this sea change in regulatory regimes, the Hope Standard, which protects the regulated firm from confiscatory rates so that it remains a financially viable enterprise, continues to serve as […]

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What Can Managers Privately Disclose to Investors?

Regulators have long been aware that differential access to information can undermine the efficiency and fairness of financial markets. In an effort to place investors on equal footing, the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2000 created Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD), which prohibits public firms from disclosing material information to certain parties but not others. […]

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Shaming Big Pharma

The FDA recently published a list of top branded drug companies that are suspected of purposely blocking competition from the generic drug industry. Calling out big pharma by “naming and shaming” them into good behavior is an innovative, still largely experimental, regulatory tool designed to harness public opinion and build on pharma’s reputational sensitivities. This […]

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The Mandatory Repatriation Tax Is Unconstitutional

In late 2017, Congress passed the first major tax reform in over three decades. This Essay considers the constitutional concerns raised by Section 965 (the “Mandatory Repatriation Tax”), a central provision of the new tax law that imposes a one-time tax on U.S.-based multinationals’ accumulated foreign earnings. First, this Essay argues that Congress lacks the […]

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Reforming the True-Sale Doctrine

The true-sale doctrine is central to the multi-trillion dollar asset-backed securities (ABS) market. The assets backing ABS are only bankruptcy-remote if they were assigned in a true sale, rather than as collateral for a loan, and it is the true-sale doctrine that distinguishes sales from loans. Despite its importance, the doctrine is inconsistent, lacks normative […]

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The Modigliani-Miller Theorem at 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications of Finance’s Foundational Theorem

2018 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller’s The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance, and the Theory of Investment, which purports to demonstrate that a firm’s value is independent of its capital structure. Widely hailed as the foundation of modern finance, their article is little known by lawyers and […]

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In-House Regulators: Documenting the Impact of Regulation on Internal Firm Structure

In a deregulatory environment, what do regulated firms do? The standard assumption is simple: firms revert to their pre-regulatory form. This Essay challenges that basic assumption. Increasingly, regulation is conducted through broad standards foisted on firms to implement internally. Congress articulates a policy goal; agencies enact specific standards for regulated entities; and firms are left […]

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The $1 Trillion Question: New Approaches to Regulating Stock Buybacks

Stock buybacks—transactions in which public companies buy back their own equity securities on the open market—are on track to reach $1 trillion in 2018. Such repurchases manipulate the market price for issuer securities. They represent a choice by firms to prioritize shareholder payouts over other uses of corporate funds, contributing to widening economic inequality. Currently, […]