Tech Wars and the Conflict of Public Interests

Co-author: Haochen Sun and Peter Wat

Georgetown Law Technology Review, 2022

Abstract: The U.S. government has waged “tech wars” against companies under the banner of national security. But is consumer welfare being sacrificed to win these wars? This Article offers an in-depth study of the emerging conflict between two public interests—consumer welfare and national security—in the context of antitrust law. It considers the ramifications of the patent abuse case, FTC v. Qualcomm, which sheds light on the nature and scope of these two public interests as they are implicated in tech wars. This Article also proposes application of a strict scrutiny standard to address the conflict between national security and consumer welfare in the Qualcomm case and in tech wars more broadly.

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