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Student Projects


Student Projects

1. Antitrust and Mobile Sports Gambling 
Anthony Potts 
Michael Nachman

2. Private Equity and the Real Estate Market: The Role of Antitrust Enforcement 
Aarjav Joshi 
Aparajita Kaphle 
Noor Khaled 
Allura Landsberg

3. Balancing Sustainability and Competition: Evolving Challenges for U.S. Antitrust Authorities in the Green Economy Transition 
Shubhangi Agarwalla 
Joshua Sprague Oliveira

4. Localist Ideals, Antitrust Practice 
Chad Borgman 
Raymond Perez

5. Vertical Mergers in Healthcare: Showing Direct Harms to Competition from Data-Motivated Mergers 
Victor Agbafe 
Tanya Aggarwal 
Sander McComiskey 
Ethan Wang

6. Deadly Duopoly: Consolidation in the Dialysis Industry and the Role of Antitrust Law 
Tejas Muthusamy 
Natasha Gaither 
Yousuf Rehman

7. Common Ownership: What We Know and Where to Go from Here 
Jonathan Schwartz 
Cameron Steger 
Kamran King

8. Generative AI and Competitive Threats 
Kart Kandula 
Brandon Nye 
Ruth Zheng 


Antitrust Law and Market Realities

Over the past several decades, there has been growing concern among economists and lawyers that antitrust law is losing touch with changes in the way business works and advances in the field of economics. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division invited this year’s Thurman Arnold Project students to write papers on areas of the law where antitrust law needs to be updated to reflect market realities. 

The students delved into a wide range of crucial topics in their research papers, including how certain acquisitions by private equity firms can be anticompetitive, how loyalty rebates can be framed as a type of exclusive dealing, and the role of executive testimony as evidence in antitrust trials. During the spring term, AAG Kanter traveled to New Haven to engage in discussions with students regarding developments in their papers. Additionally, he delivered a speech on antitrust law to members of the Thurman Arnold Project and the wider Yale community. 

The final papers were presented to members of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. on May 24-25, 2023.

Student paper topics follow along with the names of the authors.

1. Data Acquisition as Monopolization in Digital Platform Markets 
Matene Alikhani 
Brandon Nye 
Bruno Renzetti

2. Addressing The Potential and Pitfalls of Dynamic Pricing Algorithms 
Kart Kandula

3. Online Choice Architecture and Behavioral Economics – The Role for Antitrust Law 
Michelle Fang 
Marcela Mattiuzzo

4. Antitrust Enforcement and Private Equity 
Kate Conlow 
Fiona Scott Morton

5. Reforming HSR Premerger Notification and Review 
Daniel Backman

6. A New Approach to Digital Market Mergers: Platform Competition Analysis 
Teddy Watler 
Raj Bhargava 
Samuel Turner

7. A Strategy for Challenging Anticompetitive Refusals to Deal in the Digital Economy 
Alissa Johnson 
Shreyas Gandlur 
Brandon Baum-Zepeda

8. Buying Friends to Break Rivals: A Legal and Economic Case Against Anticompetitive Loyalty Rebates 
Lily Johnston 
Jacqueline Huang 
Cameron Steger 
Paul Meosky 

9. An Epic Rebuke of Antitrust Hyper-Formalism 
Leslie Lei 
Jose Maria Marella 
Jeremy Rhee 

10. The Wrong Questions: Addressing Executive Testimony in Merger Review Trials 
Nick Jacobson 
Sahil Alim 


Digital Platform Regulation

Our basis for this project on digital platforms is that antitrust enforcement will not be enough – by itself – to generate competition and good outcomes for consumers. Particularly given the slow start to antitrust enforcement in this sector, some sort of US regulation of digital platforms will be needed going forward, just as Europe has recently adopted the DMA and the DSA. US citizens and consumers will benefit if that regulation promotes competition and innovation. 

Yale students have come together to write a collection of policy papers on important issues in digital platform regulation. The papers address questions such as:  What kind of agency will be best to regulate platforms? How could rulemaking be designed to increase competition? What are technical means to create interoperability? How should algorithms be evaluated? How can blockchain be used anticompetitively? How would the divestiture of the Android operating system change competition in general search? 

Regulation can have many goals including protection of consumers, redistribution of surplus, elimination of bias, promotion of innovation, and importantly, protection and enhancement of competition. The TAP approach is to think of competition as a ‘whole of government’ activity, and therefore regulation of digital platforms is another tool to strengthen competition in this sector. The regulatory ideas that follow are designed to be pro-competitive: they lower barriers to entry, make product attributes salient to consumers, and lower switching costs (e.g. a privacy regulation should not entrench the dominant firm and raise entry barriers). Carefully designed regulations on privacy, security, portability, interoperability, etc., make competition stronger. 

Student paper topics follow along with the names of the authors.

1. What is the Optimal Regulatory Structure to Govern Digital Platforms? 
Jackson Busch 
Lorand Laskai

2. Effective FTC Rulemaking at the Conjunction of Consumer Protection and Competition 
Melissa Muller

3. Social Regulation of Digital Technology: Facilitating Technological Moderation Through "Community Unplug Together" (CUT) Laws 
Jack Sadler

4. Regulating Content Recommendation Algorithms in Social Media 
Sachin Holdheim

5. Manipulating, Fast and Slow 
Jerry Ma

6. Mandating Interoperability for Online and Mobile Messaging Services Through FTC Rulemaking 
Daniel Backman 
Brandon Baum 
Aiden Lee 
Zaakir Tameez

7. Taking Behavioralism Seriously in Digital Markets 
Kart Kandula

8. Zero-Rating as Exclusionary Conduct 
Bruno Renzetti

9.  Android Divestiture and a Roadmap from AT&T 
Kyle Bright  
Karissa Kang

10. FCC Rulemaking + REST API: Fostering Social Media Interoperability 
Topher Allen  
Kate Conlow

11. Open Banking for the Select Few: How a Lack of Regulation Enables Standard Setting that Forecloses Innovation 
Matene Alikhani

12.  Move Fast and Tie Things: The Anticompetitive Dangers of Big Tech-Run Blockchain 
Edward Seol


Competition Policy Modules

The challenge taken on by TAP students in the 2020–21 school year was to write a series of modules to identify settings where competition is weak or absent and propose policy solutions. The students divided into teams to cover 3 areas: agriculture, finance, and labor. They spoke with researchers and used public information to make arguments about anticompetitive behavior and harm in each sector. Below are the three modules that resulted.


Digital Platform Theories of Harm

The challenge taken on by TAP students in the 2019–20 school year was to write a series of digital platform theories of harm. The students divided into teams to cover 4 platforms and 5 theories. They used public information to make arguments about anticompetitive behavior and harm in each setting. Below are the five papers that resulted. The students presented their findings to staff and Commissioners at the Federal Trade Commission in May 2020.