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Call Number: 31620
Course Number: 6540-01
Professor: Dee Pridgen
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Spring
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: None
Course Overview: The antitrust course consists of the study of the federal laws regulating monopolies and restraints of trade. The substantive provisions of the antitrust laws are relatively brief - there are only three main statutes - the Sherman Act (1890), the Clayton Act (1914) and the FTC Act (1914). These statutes entail broad prohibitions, and there are no detailed regulations like the tax code. Antitrust tends to be more like Constitutional Law than like other statutory law courses - basically, there is an ancient document (the Sherman Act) containing some broad generalizations and a lot of Supreme Court cases interpreting the law.
Overview of Topics - The topics we will be covering in the course include the following: 1. Policies behind and the history of the antitrust laws and economics as it applies to antitrust. 2. Monopolization. There are a number of classic cases in this area. We will discuss the Microsoft case. 3. Horizontal restraints, including price fixing, division of territories, and group boycotts. A horizontal restraint occurs when competitors in the same market get together and try to avoid having to compete in the marketplace. 4. Horizontal mergers is the next topic. These types of mergers are usually questionable. We will discuss the major cases as well as the Justice Dept. merger guidelines. 5. Vertical restraints of trade (these include things like territorial restrictions by the manufacturer on the distributor, tying arrangements and exclusive dealing). This is a very controversial and active area. Unfortunately, we will not have time to cover the antitrust exemptions, such as state action, nor will we cover antitrust issues in patents or international antitrust or the Robinson Patman Act (price discrimination).
Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format: Lecture/discussion
Written Assignments: One five-page take-home. 15-20 page research paper optional in lieu of exam.
Type of Exam: Two hour essay exam. Closed book with exception of statutes, merger guidelines, table of contents of main text, and calculator.
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Final Exam or 15-20 page research paper, plus class participation and take home assignment. The research paper can be used to fulfill the upper class writing requirement.