Some antitrust advocates, such as Lina Khan, are concerned that the goals of antitrust policy are too narrow. But the future goal of antitrust policy should be what it has been for generations, namely, to make the market work better for consumers.\nThe original goal of the antitrust movement was to curb the economic and political power of large corporations, a new organizational form that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was proving to be an extraordinarily efficient institutional innovation.\u00a0 Small retailers, manufacturers and farmers wanted protection from these developments. Antitrust policy was their weapon.\u00a0\nBut in the 1930s President Franklin Roosevelt\u2019s antitrust chief, Thurmond Arnold, changed the course of antitrust enforcement, establishing the goal of consumer welfare, not the protection of small companies, as the paramount objective.\u00a0 Carl Shapiro recently restated this goal as: \u201cprotecting the competitive process so consumers receive the full benefits of vigorous competition.\u201d Through the ups and downs of enforcement styles in the ensuing period, this objective has been the constant lodestar of antitrust.\nRecently, the Administration\u2019s nominee to head the Federal Trade Commission, which is one of the two Federal agencies tasked with enforcing the antitrust laws, endorsed this consumer welfare standard, saying without qualification: \u201cThe FTC is all about protecting and improving consumer welfare.\u201d\nThere is a real need for vigorous antitrust policy\nThe marketplace might not automatically deliver an abundant supply of low-price, high-quality products and services.\u00a0 Antitrust policy should seek to maintain and foster competition so as to lower price, improve quality and increase the output of products and services.\u00a0 Conversely, it should avoid measures that harm consumers by denying them services or features that they value.\nHere\u2019s an example of what could go wrong with competition policy. Concerned with the size of some tech companies, an antitrust authority bans them from copying features that have been developed by competitors. If you think this is fanciful, think about the outcry when Facebook added an improved version of Snap\u2019s disappearing-photos feature to its own Instagram Stories service.\u00a0\nDespite the criticism, consumers benefited from this diffusion and improvement of a valuable innovation.\u00a0 A breakthrough innovation, after all, wants to be copied and improved upon. \u00a0As Greg Ip says, \u201cThere\u2019s nothing wrong with copying, especially if the copy is better than the original.\u201d\u00a0 To prevent Instagram from adding similar features to its competitors is to deny Instagram's users innovation, and to require Instagram to remain stagnant.\nTo be sure, things can go wrong with innovation copying.\u00a0 A generation ago, Microsoft was under fire for bundling its browser, Internet Explorer, with its operating system in an attempt to exclude the original innovator, Netscape\u2019s Navigator, from the browser market.\u00a0 But here the competitive harm was the exclusionary tie, not innovation copying. \u00a0By its second version, Internet Explorer was high-quality software, as good as or better than the Netscape original.\nFeature copying is good and generally benefits consumers\nFeature copying (within the constraints of intellectual property law, of course) is a good thing that generally benefits consumers. A ban on that practice would be antitrust policy gone awry, taking away valuable products and choices from consumers.\nMany commentators are concerned about broader public policy issues and want to enlist antitrust as a policy lever to advance reforms in these areas. \u00a0Among these goals are better wages for workers, greater equality in the distribution of income and wealth and constraints on the ability of large organizations to influence the outcomes of public policy debates.\u00a0\nThese issues are important, perhaps more important than promoting competition, because they go to the question of the strength and legitimacy of our democratic political processes. But they should not be addressed by antitrust authorities and courts.\nAs Carl Shapiro says \u201cthe corrupting power of money in politics\u2026is far better addressed through campaign finance reform and anti-corruption rules than by antitrust.\u201d As for income inequality, \u201cother public policies are far superior for this purpose. Tax policy, government programs such as Medicaid, disability insurance, and Social Security, and a whole range of policies relating to education and training spring immediately to mind.\u201d\nMoreover, as Herbert Hovenkamp says, the larger goals that antitrust might foster \u201coften operate at cross purposes with one another. For example, to the extent that large firms are more efficient, their output will be higher and they will provide more jobs. Further, large firms historically pay substantially higher wages and salaries than smaller firms.\u201d\u00a0 Do we really want to break up large firms if the result is lower wages for workers?\nVigorous antitrust enforcement should target price increases and declines in the quality and output of goods and services created by failures of the competitive process. \u00a0Companies should not be allowed to take advantage of their market position to harm the consumer interest in low-price, high-quality goods and services. Antitrust officials should keep their eye on the consumer welfare ball, rather than trying to remedy real problems that are outside the scope of their knowledge and expertise.