Increased international competition, particularly from Japan, along with subtle shifts in the role of interfirm agreements are causing academics, businessmen, and policymakers to rethink fundamental ideas about competition and cooperation. New ways in which firms can cooperate to compete are receiving considerable attention. However, firms wanting to experiment with new ways of organizing business contractually rather than by merger run the risk of getting snagged on out-of-date antitrust ideology. This article examines the need for cooperative agreements in the context of innovation and competitive opportunities and also explores the public policy problems that confront them. The authors discuss the need for a reexamination of our antitrust laws in order to foster a balance between cooperation and competition.
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