"STM’s New Publishing Licenses Raise Antitrust Concerns Amid Wider Efforts to Pollute Open Access Standards"
Ariel Katz has published "STM's New Publishing Licenses Raise Antitrust Concerns Amid Wider Efforts to Pollute Open Access Standards" in LSE Impact of Social Sciences.
Here's an excerpt:
For antitrust purposes, when a group of publishers adopts a set of uniform licenses, or when it recommends that its members adopt them, they tread in the area of antitrust law's core concern: "price fixing". In antitrust lingo the term price fixing is not limited to coordinating on price, but applies to any coordination that affects the quantity, quality, or any other feature of the product. Indeed, "[t]erms of use are no less a part of 'the product,'" and competition between publishers is supposed to ensure optimal license terms just as it is expected to guarantee competitive prices. Therefore, when a group of publishers coordinates license terms, their concerted action is not conceptually different for antitrust purposes from a decision to coordinate subscription fees (downstream) or submission fees (upstream), and when the group represents the leading publishers and affects the majority of publications, antitrust concerns are further heightened.