Whither Antitrust Enforcement in the Trump Administration?

Steven C. Salop, Georgetown University Law Center
Carl Shapiro, University of California at Berkeley


The Trump Administration might follow Donald Trump’s populist campaign rhetoric and adopt an approach to antitrust enforcement that emphasizes reining in corporate power. This approach would honor the preferences of the working-class voters who have put Trump into office by vigorously enforcing the antitrust laws controlling mergers and exclusionary conduct by dominant firms. Alternatively, the Trump Administration might adopt a highly permissive, laissez-faire approach to antitrust. That approach would allow further consolidation of corporate power and would disappoint the substantial majority of Americans who believe that the American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful. We discuss these alternative approaches and offer a number of suggestions for how the Trump Administration can use antitrust enforcement and competition policy to rein in corporate power while respecting antitrust precedent and staying true to modern antitrust principles.