Competition/Regulation: Controlling Corporate Power in the Digital Economy
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2023
IN PERSON: SCHUSTERMAN HALL, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY BEASLEY SCHOOL OF LAW
Join Temple Law Review for our 2023 annual symposium, Competition/Regulation: Controlling Corporate Power in the Digital Economy on October 19, 2023.This year’s symposium will bring together policymakers, scholars, and the broader community to explore the present and future of competition in the digital economy.
Concern over a lack of competition has reached a fever pitch across the American economy. From Big Tech to Big Banking to Big Agriculture, corporate concentration poses a growing threat to economic liberty, welfare, and democracy. Workers, small businesses, and consumers are paying the price for lack of competition—literally.
Policymakers often focus on antitrust law as the solution to revitalize competition. While antitrust law plays an essential role, it exists alongside regulatory regimes with great power to affect competition. Regulatory agencies oversee competition across the economy, in transportation, telecommunications, securities, labor, and beyond. At times overlooked, these agencies decide more cases each year than the federal courts and are crucial to the future of competition policy.
Join leading scholars and agency representatives to discuss:
- How major recent Supreme Court decisions in administrative law affect the power and potential of these agencies;
- The challenges and opportunities that emerging technologies—such as artificial intelligence and social media—create for these institutions tasked with promoting competition;
- How competition policy interrelates with broader concerns of economic liberty, welfare, and democracy; and
- How these regulatory regimes—and the agencies who enforce them—can work to benefit consumers, laborers, and small businesses across the U.S. economy.
Howard Shelanski, Georgetown University Law Center
Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law
Thomas Nachbar, University of Virginia
Diana Moss, Progressive Policy Institute
Sam Weinstein, Cardozo School of Law
John B. Kirkwood, Seattle University School of Law
Darren Bush, University of Houston Law Center
Hiba Hafiz, Boston College Law School
Sabeel Rahman, Cornell Law School
Craig Green, Salil Mehra, and Erika M. Douglas, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Welcome – 9:15-9:30
Rachel Rebouché, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
Panel 1 – The Modern Regulator: Agency Power and Challenges 9:30-11:00
While at times overlooked, administrative agencies decide more cases each year than federal courts. These agencies have great power to affect competition in nearly every aspect of our lives, from drug and airline safety to farming, telecommunications, and transportation. In recognition of this power, President Biden issued a recent Executive Order instructing all federal agencies—not just antitrust enforcers—to promote competition within the American economy. At the same time, the Supreme Court is actively stripping these agencies of long-used powers in cases like AMG Capital Management LLC v. FTC, and may soon overturn fundamental law on deference to agency expertise in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.
How can we understand the power of these modern regulators to affect competition? What are the opportunities and challenges that agencies face in focusing on competition? How might agencies navigate the tension between competition and other regulatory priorities, or even incommensurate values such as free speech and privacy? Join us to hear insider perspectives from our expert panel on the power of these essential institutions in antitrust law and beyond.
Moderator: Craig Green, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
- Thomas B. Nachbar, University of Virginia School of Law
- Darren Bush, University of Houston Law Center
- Howard Shelanski, Georgetown University Law Center
Lunchtime Keynote – Agencies and Big Tech 11:00-12:30
Speaker Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law
Panel 2 – Competition and Regulation in Context: Reflecting on History to Inform Digital Debates. 12:30-2:00
The histories of antitrust and regulation have long been intertwined, from Big Railroads and Big Oil to telecommunications monopolies. As the U.S. considers new laws in the digital space, what can we learn from this long history of competition and regulation? How should we understand the relationship between antitrust law and regulation? There is a strong impulse to regulate digital companies around the globe—is this the right approach for the U.S.?
Moderator: Erika Douglas, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
- Diana Moss, Progressive Policy Institute
- Sam Weinstein, Cardozo University School of Law
- Jack Kirkwood, Seattle University School of Law
Fireside Chat – Competition’s Payoff: Labor, Democracy, Equality. 2:00-3:00
In recent decades, antitrust law has narrowed its focus to economic efficiency and consumers, but competition has long had much broader political and social significance. Weak competitive structures deny Americans the fundamental benefits of an open economy, with wide-ranging ramifications for equality, economic liberty and democratic accountability. Join us for a fireside chat on the wide-ranging effects of a lack of competition on labor, democracy, and even the environment. To what extent can antitrust law advance these political and social interests? How can agencies that focus on labor or other interests also promote competition?
- Salil Mehra, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
- Hiba Hafiz, Boston College/FTC
- Sabeel Rahman, Cornell Law School
Closing Remarks 3:00-3:10