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Freedom to Trade and the Competitive Process

Aaron S. Edlin, University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Farrell, University of California - Berkeley


Although antitrust courts sometimes stress the competitive process, they have not deeply explored what that process is. Inspired by the theory of the core, we explore the idea that the competitive process is the process of sellers and buyers forming improving coalitions. Much of antitrust can be seen as prohibiting firms’ attempts to restrain improving trade between their rivals and customers. In this way, antitrust protects firms’ and customers’ freedom to trade to their mutual betterment.

Suggested Citation

Aaron S. Edlin and Joseph Farrell. "Freedom to Trade and the Competitive Process" Oxford Handbook of International Antitrust Economics. Ed. Roger D. Blair and D. Daniel Sokol. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2013.
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