This chapter begins by defining conventional prohibition in an operational fashion. As the earlier chapters have shown, this is a daunting task. Most views can be captured by supposing that the price-fixing prohibition is limited to certain sorts of interfirm communication, whether designated by mode, content, or otherwise. This formulation on its face seems problematic because it focuses not on whether the means employed in fact caused harm in a given case but rather on whether one versus another means was employed. Preliminary consideration of social welfare consequences suggests a negative assessment, for the distinction drawn has little relationship to welfare.
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