Exploring the Space for Antitrust Law in the Race for Space Exploration


Space has been called the final frontier, but The Wall Street Journal’s referral to space as “The Next Business Frontier” seems like a more optimistic view of the expanse of infinite nothingness above us. From overpopulation and famine to disease and climate change, humanity faces a number of perils that may prove too great unless it finds a new home. Avoiding certain peril is not the only incentive for space travel—though, shouldn’t that be enough? First, there are potentially immense economic benefits from space tourism. And space tourism is not the only potential revenue stream. Some proponents have even suggested mining resources from asteroids. Whether it comes due to these economic incentives or as a solution to many of the ills that plague society, both corporations and governments are investing heavily in space exploration.

This Note will analyze the interactions between Indian, Japanese, Russian, and United States corporate antitrust laws and those laws’ effects on the space race. The first part of this Note will give relevant background information regarding international space law, the policies each country has in place regarding space exploration and an explanation of relevant antitrust law. The second part of this Note will analyze the weaknesses and strengths of the various legal structures that play a part in incentivizing space exploration. The third part of this Note will argue that privatized space exploration has large benefits, so countries around the world should be prepared to tailor antitrust law accordingly. Specifically, in order to combat some of the inefficiencies that exist in space exploration, antitrust law must adapt in a way that it rarely has.


Antitrust, Space Law, International Law, Space Race



Todd Wells (Washington University School of Law, St. Louis)



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