Tuesday, April 7, 2009

AP Doesn't Want US To Say Much More Than...


I've yet to take Antitrust, so I would like to hear the opinions of our learned audience about whether what the AP is trying to do violates some Antitrust provisions. What do you say, Illuminati: Could the AP be barred from taking such concerted action? Is the news business a 'form of trade' that should not be 'restrained?'

[Ed. Note: The illustration was found here after a Google search of "picture of newsie." I can just see it now: 'Extra! Extra! Bleed All About It!']


  1. I don't think there's any problem. It's their work, why would they be unable to restrict it?

  2. This could pose an antitrust problem, but if the case were to come to the Supreme Court, it might have occasion to overturn the precedent causing the problem. As I understand, the AP is a cooperative venture between thousands of news outlets. Accordingly, it is sort of top-up, as opposed to top-down. This distinction would make the action a "horizontal" restraint as opposed to a "vertical" restraint. The latter is judged under much less strict rules than the former. But, many have suggested for a time that the Court will revisit its view in this regard.

  3. Antitrust litigator here. I don't see a problem. The AP doesn't have a monopoly position in any market, as far as I know, so I can't see why they would be restricted in setting the terms of where and how their product is used.

  4. 11:58, they could certainly do so under most circumstances, but the Court has previously held that restrictions on output from the AP itself were a violation of the antitrust laws....unless there has been a change in the structure of the AP, I don't know how this is any different.


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