Maurice E. Stucke is the Douglas A. Blaze Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. With 25 years experience handling a range of policy issues in both private practice and as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, he advises governments, law firms, consumer groups, and multi-national firms on competition and privacy issues. He has testified before, and provided expert reports for, multiple governments and inter-governmental agencies, including the European Commission, OECD, United Nations, and World Bank. Stucke is the co-author of Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy, Big Data and Competition Policy, and most recently Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants (Harper Business).
In a captivating exposé, Stucke and co-author Ariel Ezrachi show through vivid examples how society overprescribed competition as a solution and when unbridled rivalry hurts consumers, kills entrepreneurship, and increases economic inequality. These two free-market thinkers diagnose the sickness caused by competition overdose and provide remedies that will promote sustainable growth and progress for everyone, not just wealthy shareholders and those at the top.
A sought-after expert and speaker, Stucke has shared his valuable insights and research to audiences ranging from investor forums, policy makers, and corporate executives. He has been quoted, and his research has been featured, in numerous media outlets.
Stucke has received a number of awards, including a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. In 2012, he was a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne. In 2015 and 2017, he visited University of Oxford, where he was an Academic Visitor at its Institute of European and Comparative Law, a Fellow at its Centre for Competition Law and Policy, and a Senior Associateship at Pembroke College. Stucke serves as one of the United States’ non-governmental advisors to the International Competition Network, and on the boards of the Open Markets Institute, the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, the American Antitrust Institute, and the Academic Society for Competition Law.
Praise for Competition Overdose:
“Stucke and Ezrachi’s analysis of the nature of competition is refreshingly non-ideological and counterintuitive. Their idea that competition can be either toxic or noble—all depending on how governments structure markets—is something so clear that it’s remarkable it’s taken us decades to recognize the wisdom of it. This is a must-read for anyone interested in how to use public policy to harness the competitive drive for the public good.”
--Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook
“Entertaining and thought-provoking, Competition Overdose fiercely articulates the raw, hard truth behind the toxic aspects of competition.”
--Tommaso Valletti, professor of economics at Imperial College London and Chief Competition Economist (2016–2019), European Commission
“Anything, in the wrong dosage, can be poisonous. Competition Overdose takes a sacred cow of contemporary western thought—that ‘more competition is always good’—and reveals that while competition can be noble, it can also be toxic. An engaging and compelling read that will make you think differently about situations we all deal with every day.”
--Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School, contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and author of The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants
“A must-read for anyone concerned about the future of our economy and society, Competition Overdose provides a no-nonsense analysis of how toxic competition can be bad for competitors, consumers, workers, and society overall. The authors highlight the abuses of this ideology and remind us that we, as citizens and consumers, can exercise our power by choosing products, based on our values.”
--Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation
“Competition Overdose is probably the most important book to be published on the subject since The Antitrust Paradox hit bookshelves in 1978. It is destined to transform how governments across the world think about the role of competition in domestic and international policy for decades to come. Stucke and Ezrachi are the new rock stars of competition policy.”
--Ali Nikpay, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
“This beautifully written book helps us rethink economic principles from the ground up. As any good chemist knows, what can be helpful or harmless in small doses is deadly in excess. While technocrats push competition as a cure to all economic ailments, Stucke and Ezrachi deliver a dose of reality: cutthroat schemes to kneecap rivals, manipulate customers, and exploit workers harm far more than they help. Read this book for a brilliant account of the proper place of competition (and ethics) in society.”
--Frank Pasquale, law professor at University of Maryland and author of The Black Box Society
“Stucke and Ezrachi examine a multitude of perversities in today’s society—colleges striving to recruit applicants they likely will reject, supermarkets stocking hundreds of varieties of jam, travel deals stuffed with hidden fees—and provide a unifying explanation: a misalignment of competition. Their book illuminates how competition can go wrong, and how individuals, businesses, and the government can set it right.”
--Jonathan Levin, dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business
“Stucke and Ezrachi show us the important differences between destructive and noble competition and what we can do to pursue a more just and prosperous world. This book changes how you will view the role of the market in our economy and society at large.”
--Spencer Weber Waller, director of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies and law professor at Loyola University Chicago
“Is more competition the solution to all our societal problems? Stucke and Ezrachi persuasively say: No, it depends; sometimes we need to rein in markets because they produce socially inferior outcomes. This book shows that the promotion of competition cannot be an end in of itself, but rather it should be used as a tool to improve overall welfare. Between too much and too little competition, the safest option is, as always, the ‘aurea mediocritas.’”
--Jorge Padilla, senior managing director and head of Compass Lexecon, Europe
“Stucke and Ezrachi ask critical questions about what types of rivalry are desirable and who benefits when all domains of society are governed by principles of unfettered competition. Countering simplistic prescriptions, Competition Overdose is a perceptive and timely read.”
--Lina Khan, author of Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox
“Competition Overdose is a courageous, timely attempt by two formidable legal scholars to unpack—and in some cases demolish—the dominant shibboleth of our age: the delusion that ‘more competition’ is the remedy for many social or economic ills. Should be required reading for every course in public policy.”
--John Naughton, professor at University of Cambridge and technology columnist for the London Observer
“The authors draw skillfully on a wide range of disciplines, from economics to psychology, to help us understand why more competition is not always all that it’s cracked up to be. They provide support for a more humane, nobler form of competition and wider corporate purpose, debunking the myths of shareholder value and blind faith in markets. This is a must-read.”
--Simon Holmes, UK Competition Appeal Tribunal
“Because competition has been sold for centuries as an unbridled positive, reading this book requires counterintuitive thinking and an open mind. Using a lucid, conversational style, the authors thoroughly explain each case study and anecdote. Does competition regularly result in a race to the bottom? Yes, the authors maintain, and they present ideas about how to achieve what they term ‘noble competition,’ in which sellers, buyers, and society at large all benefit.”
“Stucke and Ezrachi delve into this quandary with skill…This is a hard-hitting book that would be a valuable read for any and all consumers.”