Law Professor Marina Lao on Auto Dealer’s Argument About Protecting Consumers’ Buying Options
Professor Marina Lao, who specializes in Antitrust Law, was interviewed by Christine Hatfield on April 15, 2021 on WGLT 89.1 FM, NPR from Illinois State University for the story, Why Illinois Car Dealers Are Suing Rivian, Secretary Of State To Stop Direct-To-Consumer Sales. Professor Lao provides insight on what is best for consumers in latest nationwide debate over the options consumers have to buy cars.
“The fundamental principle of our laws, our competition laws, is that consumers should decide not only where they buy the cars, but how they buy it," said Lao. "Consumers may well benefit from being able to buy the cars directly from the manufacturers.”
Professor Lao continues on lawsuit against electric automaker Rivian and how its outcome depends on the interpretation of the law.
“If the statute is interpreted as saying that an auto manufacturer that uses the franchise system may only sell through its franchise dealers, then the law wouldn't apply to a Tesla, or to a Rivian, which never used the franchise system to begin with,” said Lao.
Professor Marina Lao is an Antitrust Scholar and has not only published on a wide variety of antitrust topics over a long and distinguished academic career but has also helped shape competition policies as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission while on leave from Seton Hall. Additionally, Professor Lao has offered invited testimony to the House Judiciary Committee and presented at hearings/workshops convened by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Lao teaches courses on business associations, administrative law, and commercial law at the Law School. Learn more about Professor Marina Lao.