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Monday-Morning Quarterbacking and Antitrust Damages

Kelsey Shannon and Aaron Yeater, Law360, January 2014

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On Nov. 30, Auburn University beat the University of Alabama in a college football game. The game had no effect on the U.S. Department of Justices’s merger guidelines, changed nothing about class certification standards post-Dukes v. WalMart, and taught us nothing (alas) about the proper standard for evaluating reverse payment settlements. It did, however, propel Auburn into Monday’s national championship game. More importantly for our purposes, the post-game chatter provides a fascinating window into the challenges facing economists and lawyers trying to determine the effects of allegedly anti-competitive behavior. Because, whether evaluating Nick Saban’s coaching decisions or the effects of a cartel, the question is the same: What would have happened if different decisions were made by competitors?

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