Antitrust’s Protected Classes

For purposes of argument, this essay assumes that efficiency ought to be the exclusive goal of antitrust enforcement. That premise is controversial. Nonetheless, several economic and legal theorists, primarily among the Chicago School of economics and antitrust scholarship, have developed an Optimal Deterrence Model based on this assumption. The Model is designed to achieve the optimum, or ideal, amount of antitrust enforcement. The Model’s originators generally believe that there is too much antitrust enforcement, particularly enforcement initiated by private plaintiffs. I intend to show that, even if efficiency is the only antitrust policy goal, a broader array of lawsuits should be permitted than the Optimal Deterrence Model has recognized.