Re: [gnso-vi-feb10] Trondheim Board meeting briefing materials on VI
Colleagues, board-briefing-materials-2-25sep10-en.pdf, page 36 of 55, para 1"The U.S. Supreme Court has characterized antitrust as a “consumer welfare prescription."
The quote is from R. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox 66 (1978), cited by the court in a passage on whether a consumer (a word understood to mean "the people of the United States as individuals") deprived of money by reason of allegedly anticompetitive conduct is injured in "property" within the meaning of § 4.
This seems a rather careless and casual reduction of antitrust over the century since the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act some thirty years earlier.
"In our view, ICANN policy towards the registries and registrars should be focused exclusively upon consumer welfare."Such a policy could be implemented by a return to the single source, non-competitive contract model that existed from 1985 to until the Defense Data Network NIC contract was awarded by DISA to Government Systems Inc., operationally transitioned (with complications) in May 1991.
The real cost of a domain-name-year is sub-dollar, and the cost-plus contract model of the pre-GSA period would create more consumer welfare (measured by unit cost) than any alternative.
I'm not advocating a return of the NIC contract to SRI, only pointing out that Salop and Wright don't actually advocate a policy that is "focused exclusively upon consumer welfare."