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Although innovation is often portrayed as a byproduct of competition, innovation and related dynamic aspects of competition are also, and perhaps more so, drivers of competition. The current antitrust framework, as illustrated by merger law and the agency guidelines that bear on that law, emphasizes static, demand-side conditions in defining markets and assessing likely anticompetitive effects. Only after the market has been defined and competitive effects assessed are innovation and dynamic, supply-side developments considered, and then in the context of rebutting anticompetitive findings already made on the basis of the static assessment. In addition, the burden of demonstrating and quantifying the supply-side developments is placed on the merging parties despite their relatively limited access to competitor capabilities, strategies, and plans. The following article suggests a new framework that places the burden of addressing dynamic considerations primarily on the enforcement agencies that must be met before the agencies can establish a presumption of illegality against a proposed transaction or a prime facie case against a competitive practice. It also suggests a more qualitative assessment of innovation and likely supply responses that is elaborated in the accompanying article by Professor David J. Teece.
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