Amazon. Google. Meta. Mere point out of those firms make antitrust lawyer ears perk up like Eminem at a rhyming phrases with orange conference. There’s no shock there both, the antitrust problems of those market share giants have been nicely mentioned previously. But Yale, Harvard and Stanford? They too stands out as the new rhyme and cause for the Sherman Act’s ire.

[Y]ale Law School final week pulled out from the U.S. News rankings. Shortly afterward, HarvardBerkeleyGeorgetownColumbiaStanford, and Michigan adopted swimsuit. Do these universities threat violating antitrust legal guidelines by withdrawing from the U.S. News rankings?

If the regulation faculties withdrew independently from the U.S. News rankings, that can’t represent a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which applies solely to agreements to restrain commerce. But if the regulation faculties’ parallel withdrawal masks an settlement amongst them to boycott the U.S. News rankings, that settlement might doubtlessly be anticompetitive for harming the standard competitors amongst regulation faculties. (Emphasis mine)

If the daring, underlining and italicization didn’t provide you with a touch, that may be a enormous however. As is thought by anybody who has connected with a buddy at a shindig whereas nonetheless wanting to maintain your tryst below wraps, that concerned events exit at totally different instances may be a canopy for prior conduct. Despite Yale and the like’s given causes for his or her exit, there are motivations in addition to lastly caring about public curiosity college students which may be animating their organized pull out. As troublesome as it may be to find out subterranean parts beneath manifest content material, there are helpful heuristics for doing so:

Antitrust enforcers may also look at whether or not the regulation faculties acted opposite to their financial pursuits by withdrawing from the rankings, asking a core query: Would every regulation faculty’s choice to exit the U.S. News rankings be irrational however for an understanding that their closest rivals had been dedicated to following swimsuit? If the reply is “yes,” then enforcers might infer the existence of an settlement among the many faculties to kind an anti-rankings boycott.

It is just a little bizarre that Yale would complain that US News’ metrics would scale back their worth at a time once they had been kissing the glass ceiling that’s first place…and that faculties like Harvard and Stanford, having vied for first place for a really very long time would additionally decide to drop out when a really clear energy vacuum offered itself. But what do I do know? I’ve solely received my JD from Washington University in St. Louis, a faculty that by default would now be within the high 14 of colleges which might be presumably forking over their information to the default regulation faculty rating system. Go Bears.

Antitrust and Law Schools’ Exit from U.S. News Rankings [The Reg Review]

Chris Williams turned a social media supervisor and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to becoming a member of the workers, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ within the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri lengthy sufficient to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who can’t swim, a printed creator on important race principle, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for biking that often annoys his friends. You can attain him by e-mail at and by tweet at @WritesForRent.

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