Monika Schnitzer, Professor of Comparative Economics at Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, is renowned for her research in innovation, competition policy, and multinational firms. She serves as the chairwoman of the German Council of Economic Experts ("Wirtschaftsweise").
Prof. Schnitzer has been involved in numerous prestigious roles, including Deputy Chairwoman of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, President of the Verein für Socialpolitik, and member of the Economic Advisory Group of the European Commission. A recipient of several honors, such as the Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland and the Bavarian Order of Merit, Prof. Schnitzer also holds memberships in esteemed academies like the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She earned her PhD from the University of Bonn in 1991. Prof. Schnitzer has held visiting professorships at Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, and Harvard University.
Innovation drives economic growth and higher living standards. In the tech sector, critics see innovation increasingly threatened by the market power of big tech companies, while others highlight their innovation capabilities. This lecture explores the impact of competition-boosting antitrust actions on innovation, focusing on two US antitrust cases against AT&T in the 1950s and 1980s. AT&T was the US telecom monopolist and, with its Bell Labs, regarded as the most innovative US company of its time. The antitrust proceedings required AT&T to license its patents and ultimately led to its breakup. This lecture examines the influence of these antitrust measures on US innovation and their relevance for today's tech giants.