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Free the Market!: Why Only Government Can Keep the Marketplace Competitive Hardcover – April 16, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Congress enacted a series of measures, known as antitrust laws, designed to protect consumers from monopolies and collusion among competitors that undermine the fairness of the marketplace. Though enforced haphazardly, these laws set the rules of competition in a free-market economy until the early 1980s, when government policy makers under Ronald Reagan began to dismantle antitrust enforcement and adopt more “business-friendly” procedures based on the conservative notion that all markets will self-correct when government simply gets out of the way. Reback, one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys, recounts many of the major court cases that he was involved in, including the breakup of AT&T, early cases of software copyright infringement, and the “trial of the century,” the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. By demonstrating how rampant price-fixing and hidden fees in everything from high-speed Internet access, wireless phone service, and cable providers to travel and financial services have stifled competition and produced higher-priced but inferior products and services for consumers, Reback makes the case for seriously reconsidering the laissez-faire approach to antitrust enforcement. --David Siegfried

About the Author

Gary L. Reback is one of the nation's most prominent antitrust attorneys, best known for spearheading the efforts that led to the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. He has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal and is quoted regularly by major media. He is currently of counsel with Carr & Ferrell LLP.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (April 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842460
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,311,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Free the Market! is a fascinating account that shows why Silicon Valley (and other) entrepreneurs and innovators need more than self-regulating markets to help them succeed. For the past three decades, monopolists have blocked or made life difficult for some great firms, and harmed consumers in the process by limiting their choices. There are many illuminating examples throughout the book - they include, among others, a riveting account of what happened to Netscape, and how the mega-mergers of AT&T/SBC and Verizon/MCI made all of us much poorer as a result of those mergers, literally as well as figuratively.

An excellent book, very well-written and clear, with entertaining vignettes along the way!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is thoughtful, well researched, and fluently written. Whether the reader agrees with his position on antitrust enforcement and Chicago School economics or not, Reback has clearly walked the walk throughout his long career as an antitrust practitioner. His viewpoint therefore deserves careful review and consideration by anyone involved in the antitrust field.
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Format: Hardcover
Gary Reback has an engaging style as he leads the reader on a tour of anti-competitive lawsuits involving such notable corporate giants as Microsoft, Oracle, and West Publishing.

The author was involved on some level in most of the cases he writes about.

He observes the different views and outcomes in anti-trust suits when economists became the prominent experts predicting the affects on the market of mergers and monopolies.

A disturbing aspect of a few of the cases is the judicial bias and incompetence that favored corporations over the anti-trust division of the government.

Reback has written a thorough and well-researched book on the subject.
It shows the reader that in some respects the market is not "free". It is monopolized.
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Format: Hardcover
I really LOVED this book. I picked it up as soon as it came, and couldn't put it down. I found the book fascinating both from the standpoint of the history and the policy, and it was also a very good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Gary Reback's Free the Market is a remarkable achievement. It is not a polemic as the title might suggest, but a thoughtful odyssey through many of the most important competition policy cases and issues of the past 25 years. It is extraordinarily well-written and enjoyable, in part because Reback is a practicing attorney dealing with concrete issues with real clients that are familiar to anybody that has worked in the IT sector. This behind-the-scenes account vividly recreates the complex legal, business, and political environment in which he has worked. Concrete details and personal observations enliven a very difficult area of the law, in which economy theory, empirical evidence, and legal framework are deeply intertwined. While a background in law or economics (and a familiarity with IT sector) is undoubtedly helpful, these different elements are pulled together through lucid and unpretentious writing in a way that any intelligent reader who cares about competition in today's digital economy can understand and enjoy.
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