The evaluation of commitment agreements under U.S. antitrust legislation has changed significantly over time. We can distinguish at least three different approaches. First, the early period of the approach itself: early cases reflect a strong hostility towards bindings of agreements considered to be devoid of liberating properties, „and which have hardly achieved a goal beyond the suppression of competition.“ 7 Second, the modified approach to illegality itself: Jefferson Parish has moved to an approach that uses the criteria of commitment as an agent for competitive damage and efficiency gains.8 Third, the rule of reason: Microsoft III has introduced a common sense rule that recognizes that, in certain circumstances, at least, the changed approach in itself would lead to an overly restrictive policy. None of this is satisfactory. Hylton and Salinger state in a recent paper: „From an economic point of view,… there is no basis for a father`s rule, even given the conditions set at Jefferson Parish for the initiation of the rule. 142 Indeed, the main reason for a decades-long economic inquiry into the effects of engagement on competition is that competition authorities should not consider the link and consolidation to be anti-competitive, even if they are carried out by monopolistic companies. 2. OTHER INSAL, the Commission has looked into a number of cases of coupling in which the company under investigation has renounced its alleged employment behaviour and has not been formally decided. The case of IBM,93, which raised the issue of product integration (or the technological link), is of particular interest. Although recent developments in economic thinking, such as anti-competitive post-Chicago models, have provided several examples of situations in which these activities may be anti-competitive, they do not disturb the consensus that attachment and consolidation are a constant feature of economic life and that the main motivation for this form of strategic behaviour is the achievement of considerable efficiency gains that lead to both higher profits and well-being. increased consumer spending.
These models must therefore be interpreted in the sense that they support an approach to justifying antitrust analysis of binder cases.143 117. Another discussion on the economic theory of the link can be heard in this issue of the Antitrust Bulletin under Eric Emch, Portfolio Effects in Merger Analysis: Differences Between the EU and U.S. Practice and Recommendations for the Future. Economists have developed a series of highly stylized models to try to understand the competitive effects of attachment and pooling when the linked market structure is oligopolistic and not perfectly competitive.