Warren-Boulton Lectures on Vertical Restraints at ABA Program
On April 20, MiCRA Principal Rick Warren-Boulton presented a three-hour course on the “Economics of Vertical Restraints” for members of the ABA Antitrust Section. Dr. Warren-Boulton has published extensively on this topic and is recognized as an expert in the economics of vertical restraints. He has also provided expert testimony in a number of matters in which vertical restraints have allegedly been used to exclude competitors, including Concord Boat v. Brunswick and U.S. v. Microsoft.

The primary focus of the presentation was the different treatment of vertical restraints in economics and the law. In attempting to determine the competitive effects of different vertical restraints, legal analysis tends to focus on the form of the restraint (e.g., tying or requirements contracts). Economic analysis, in contrast, focuses on (1) whether the products involved are complements or substitutes and (2) the economic rationale for the restraint. Since many vertical restraints could have either procompetitive or anticompetitive motivations, focusing on the form of the restraint does not necessarily advance the analysis. Using an economic approach would also eliminate the anomalous treatment of vertical restraints compared to vertical integration. Firms are frequently enjoined from engaging in certain types of restraints, even though they would not be challenged if they tried to accomplish the same goals through vertical integration.

The course was the fifth in the series, Economics for Lawyers, a program sponsored by the Section’s Economics Committee. The courses are designed for attorneys who have little formal training in economics, and they are being taught by a panel of prominent academic and consulting economists. Recent presenters include Dan Rubinfeld (market definition), George Hay (competition), Richard Rapp (market power), and Jerry Hausman (merger analysis).
| Copyright © MiCRA | Site Map | Privacy Policy |