CLBR Segment 2: Is Facebook Playing Monopoly

The news that the FTC would conduct an antitrust review of the $1 billion Facebook-Instagram acquisition puts Facebook in the spotlight as they join Microsoft, Google and Intel as tech giants who have been subject of intense antitrust scrutiny.

Our Guest: David Balto

David Balto has practiced antitrust law for over 20 years in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and in private practice.

David Balto
David Balto has over 15 years of government antitrust experience as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and in several senior level positions at the Federal Trade Commission. David Balto was the Policy Director of the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission (1998-2001) and attorney advisor to Chairman Robert Pitofsky (1995-1997). In these positions, he was a senior advisor in all aspects of the FTC’s merger and non- merger enforcement program. He helped litigate the challenges to the Staples/Office Depot, Drug Wholesalers, and Heinz/Beechnut mergers, the Intel monopolization case, and the challenges to anticompetitive conduct by several pharmaceutical companies.

David Balto is nationally known for his expertise in competition policy and is a prolific author on antitrust, consumer protection, financial services, intellectual property, and health care competition.

Huffington Post Blog Entries by David Balto

Google Is No Microsoft

Posted June 30, 2011 | 18:41:15 (EST)

Well it’s official. The Federal Trade Commission has served Google with subpoenas. Some of Google’s critics — including Gary Reback, who some credit with “goading” the Department of Justice to launching its investigation into Microsoft two decades ago — analogize Google’s conduct today to that of Microsoft’s during…

In Antitrust Probe, Google’s Critics Have it Wrong

Posted June 24, 2011 | 19:20:26 (EST)

It’s about the consumer, stupid.

The proponents of an antitrust investigation of Google suggest Google is inhibiting competition by setting up barriers harming consumers. But a close examination of Google’s entry into multiple consumer markets illustrates the opposite — that where Google competes, consumers benefit. In fact, what…

The Bankers’ New Goat

Posted March 11, 2011 | 14:07:44 (EST)

According to the Biblical story, on the day that the people were to atone for the sins committed for the year, they would send a goat off from the village to its death. The goat symbolically carried the sins of the villagers and by casting it out the villagers were…

Regulating Google: Searching for a Solution Without a Problem

Posted September 14, 2010 | 19:25:05 (EST)

When it comes to a debate on the consumer impact of companies on the Internet marketplace, we too often see a conflation of big with bad. While big companies will always be a red flag to the unhappy rivals, it is critical to remember their very existence is not proof…

Breaking the Technology Bottleneck: The FTC’s Intel Case Is Critical to Innovation

Posted April 27, 2010 | 14:14:41 (EST)

As the U.S. economy has begun to come out of its economic downturn, we have recognized the stiff price we pay for lax antitrust enforcement permitting industries to be dominated by a single or handful of firms. The penalties to economic growth from the lack of competition can be stiff:…

Merger Lessons Learned: Why the DOJ Must Block Ticketmaster/Live Nation Monopoly

Posted January 8, 2010 | 17:36:14 (EST)

Antitrust enforcement is the bulwark to a competitive market. Unfortunately, over the past several years, there has been very little merger enforcement exerted by the Department of Justice. In fact, the DOJ has not tried a merger case for over five years.

At this point, the DOJ is facing…

Getting The Job Done Right: Strengthening The Senate Bill To Fully Protect Competition

Posted November 26, 2009 | 23:24:02 (EST)

Soon after thanksgiving the debate on health care reform begins in earnest before the Senate. Competition issues, normally a backwater concern for Congress, will be front and center. The Senate will grapple with the difficult question: how to make competition work in health care markets?

If there is…

Competition That Works: Why the Google Books Project Is Good for Consumers and Its Competitors

Posted September 8, 2009 | 17:05:20 (EST)

The Internet is a great device for creating new markets, democratizing knowledge, and increasing competition. The Internet permits boundless amounts of information and commerce to be exchanged. And the Internet provides new opportunities at Internet speed.

One of the greatest achievements in the last several years is the Google Books…





I have my own antitrust experience as well against a little company known as Ticketmaster . . .