The Chicago School of antitrust is often thought to have killed off antitrust enforcement beginning in the late 1970s. In fact, although Chicago school prescriptions were significantly more laissez-faire than the structuralist school Chicago replaced, antitrust enforcement did not die under Chicago's influence. Rather, by directing antitrust to focus on technical economic analysis, Chicago contributed to the creation of a large and entrenched class of antitrust professionals—economists and lawyers—with a vested interest in preserving antitrust as a legal and regulatory enterprise. Today, Chicago School's consumer welfare standard and specific enforcement prescriptions are coming increasingly under political pressure and may be replaced or supplemented in the near term. But Chicago's redirection of antitrust toward technical economic analysis and technocratic reasoning seems likely to remain a durable legacy.
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