Lawrence Summers: Khan’s Antitrust Approach “the Way to American Failure ”Stick with Policies that Best Benefit Consumers
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers tells Bloomberg that FTC Chair Lina Khan’s approach to antitrust “is the way to American failure.” Watch Summers at the 3:25 mark or read his comments below:
I’m halfway with the critics. A new economy needs new thinking and new approaches. The old concepts weren’t designed with issues like platform companies in mind. But I part company completely with the legal scholars who frankly in many cases are not very familiar with economic reasoning in its intricacy. The people who call themselves neo-Brandesians and want to go back to what Justice Brandeis said in 1916.
Ultimately, an efficient economy that serves consumers well is the right criteria for antitrust policy.
Any attempt to change the goal of antitrust policy to be protecting competitors rather than protecting competition, I believe will do grave damage to the American economy.
So yes, we need new approaches, possibly new laws, but they need to be ultimately grounded in an economic approach that is based on having a more functional and efficient economy and [not] the idea that big is bad per se, or the idea that big should be broken up just so that smaller companies have a better chance to compete even when they are less efficient. You read the traditional antitrust decisions of the 1960s and they are a horror show in terms of their economic illiteracy, where companies make efforts to defend themselves by saying that they are inefficient therefore they are not going to win out over competitors in competition …
That is the way to American failure.