Nudge or Noodge?: Interactive Online Symposium @ “Truth on the Market” Explores Role of Behavioral Law in Regulation

Just about a year ago, WLF hosted a Web Seminar program entitled “Nudging Bureaucracts and Business: Regulatory Review in the Obama Administration,” where our panelists, Susan Dudley of George Washington University and former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and David Hill of Sidley Austin LLP and former Energy Department General Counsel, assessed how the executive branch, and mainly the Office of Management and Budget through OIRA and its new Administrator (and author of the book “Nudge”), Professor Cass Sunstein, would address business regulation. 

Dudley and Hill devoted a portion of their presentations to the concept of “behavioral law and economics,” and how it might fit into the administration’s regulatory philosophy.  Our friends over at the Truth on the Market blog today kicked off an innovative online symposium, “Free to Choose: A Symposium on Behavioral Law and Economics,” which, in addition to the involvement of TOTM’s four bloggers, will feature the diverse written views of scholars such as Stephen Bainbridge, Judge Doug Ginsburg, Richard Epstein, and Todd Henderson.  As the welcome post explains:

Truth on the Market Free to Choose Symposium is designed to begin a intellectual dialogue on these and related topics, bringing together legal scholars and economists with a variety of perspectives on these issues in terms of both methodology and subject-matter expertise.   We are hopeful that the discussion is a starting point in identifying areas of agreement, causes for concern, and open questions for future research agendas.

Web Seminar Offers Expert Insights on Federal Merger Guidelines, Antitrust Agency Decision-Making

Horizontal Mergers: What to Expect from Regulators and Judges under New Federal Guidelines

This WLF Web Seminar program, held for a live audience on Friday, December 3, can be viewed by clicking the title above.  The panelists, Janet McDavid of Hogan Lovells LLP and John Thorne of Verizon Communications, Inc. drew upon their decades of experience working on behalf of their clients in preparing them for mergers and working with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice when their antitrust officials seek further information or engage in formal challenges.

They utilized a detailed slide presentation, which accompanies the live video at the link above.  For those wishing to follow along or interested in utilizing the slides in other ways, they are available here.

During their presentations, Ms. McDavid and Mr. Thorne make reference to a number of documents.  The August 2010 revision of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines are available here.  Comments filed by Verizon Communications and several other parties to which Mr. Thorne makes reference are here, and Professor Dennis Carlton’s comments focusing on the Upwards Pricing Pressure test are here.  A speech by DOJ’s Carl Shapiro which Mr. Thorn mentions is here.  Finally, the scholarly journal article by Mary Lou Steptoe which Ms. McDavid recommends, The Power Buyer Defense in Merger Cases, can be found at 61 Antitrust Law Journal 493 (1993).