From Regulation of Economic Activity

Private Antitrust Litigation

New Evidence, New Learning

Edited by Richard Schmalensee




Is private antitrust litigation out of control, encouraging frivolous suits and deterring companies from pursuing innovative manufacturing, organization, and distributional techniques? Or is it a fair and useful system, particularly during periods when government antitrust enforcement is lax and pro-business? The contributions in this book shed new light on the current debate over treble damage reform. Using a unique collection of data on more than 2,350 antitrust cases filed in five districts between 1973 and 1983 - a research effort instigated by the Georgetown private treble damage project - prominent scholars analyze the key issues involved in reform proposals. Steven Salop and Lawrence White present an analytic framework for studying private antitrust litigation, setting out the policy issues and providing an overview of the data collected by the project. Paul Teplitz discusses the nature of the data and their collection in greater detail. Kenneth Elzinga and William Wood compare the cost of litigation to the size of settlements and awards in an attempt to gauge the degree to which the system compensates victims of antitrust violations as opposed to the system's effectiveness as a deterrent. Jeffrey Perloff and Daniel Rubinfeld focus on the incentives for litigants to settle, and Stephen Calkins notes the reaction of the legal system to treble damages in the light of motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Thomas Kauper and Edward Snyder look at those cases that followed on government cases (primarily price fixing), and George Benston takes up multi-party cases, considering the effects of class actions, joint and several liability, and various claim reduction reform proposals on deterrence and the incentives to settle. The book's final section presents three interesting and diverse policy commentaries by George Garvey, Ira Millstein, and Donald Turner.

Private Antitrust Litigation is sixteenth in the series Regulation of Economic Activity, edited by Richard Schmalensee.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262231312 pp. | 6.3 in x 9.1 in


Richard Schmalensee

Richard L. Schmalensee is John C. Head III Dean and Professor of Management and Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is co-editor of Management: Inventing and Delivering Its Future (MIT Press, 2003).