VERMILLION, S.D. – Thomas Horton, a professor of law and the Heidepriem Trial Advocacy Fellow at the University of South Dakota School of Law, served as guest editor of the winter issue of Competition Policy International’s journal Antitrust Chronicle.
The winter issue focused on agriculture policy. Horton assisted the publisher with the solicitation and final selection of the seven articles included in the chronicle. In addition to assisting with the selection process, Horton partnered with third-year law student Dylan Kirchmeier to research and draft an article for the publication focused on the right to repair in context of agricultural equipment. It is titled “John’s Deere’s Attempted Monopolization of Equipment Repair, and the Digital Agricultural Data Market – Who Will Stand Up for American Farmers.”
"He who controls the data controls the targeted marketing, sales and attacks on new competitors,” said Horton. "The control of information suppresses local competition and innovation.”
“Right to repair has a big impact on farmers who are forced to wait for licensed dealers to repair their equipment setting them back anywhere from two hours to two days waiting on certified technicians,” said Kirchmeier.” It is having a big impact on our farmers."
Kirchmeier, who began researching the subject in a fall antitrust and consumer protection class, said writing about the issue was a rewarding experience.
“Although we had a short window to write and prepare the article, working with Professor Horton was great. It was a lot of fun and I’m proud of our effort,” said Kirchmeier.
“Student-faculty collaborations are a win-win for both the student and the professor,” said Horton. “It’s useful for the faculty as it provides an opportunity to engage with material we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to explore. For the student, they get the chance to finalize an article for publication.”
Horton regularly presents and publishes on topics related to antitrust and trial advocacy. In 2019, he published a chapter entitled "Daily Newspapers and Antitrust: As Relevant and Crucial To Our Democracy as Ever,” in the book “Media Markets and Competition Law: Multinational Perspectives.” Additionally, he received the John Wesley Jackson Award for Outstanding Professor of Law from the USD School of Law last year. He is an Advisory Board Member of the American Antitrust Institute.