Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Structural Remedies in Article 82 Energy Cases

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Peter Willis, Dundas & Wilson LLP and Paul Hughes, University of Westminster provide their thoughts on Structural Remedies in Article 82 Energy Cases.

ABSTRACT: Issuing the final report on its energy sector inquiry, the European Commission pointed to a range of competition concerns across the EU energy sector, including a lack of integration and transparency. In particular, however, the Commission identified the high degree of vertical integration in energy markets as an obstacle to competition. The Commission's suggested remedy is the separation of ownership and/or operation of gas and electricity transmission networks from other energy supply activities; the 'unbundling' of transmission and other activities that control market access. While the Commission strongly favours full ownership unbundling, other possible models are under consideration. Unbundling faces considerable political opposition from a number of Member States. Even if the Commission is successful in its objective of securing unbundling, it will be some time before the necessary legislation takes effect. Meanwhile, however, the Commission has been pursuing a number of investigations into individual energy companies. A key theme of those investigations has been the alleged abuse of transmission network activities in order to restrict competition on energy supply markets. Practices under investigation by the Commission include 'strategic under-investment' in network infrastructure. Remedies under consideration include the divestment of network activities. Any such remedy is likely to take effect ahead of legislative unbundling. Ordering unbundling as a remedy in individual competition cases would be a development for which there is little precedent. This raises the question whether the Commission has demanded concessions which it would not have done in the absence of wider concerns about the energy sector, or whether its work on the sector inquiry has simply provided it with a deeper understanding of the issues. There are also questions about the power of the Commission to order such divestment remedies. This article examines the background and the issues.

October 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hearing But Not Listening: Comparative Competition Law and the DOJ Monopoly Report

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Waller Spencer Waller of Chicago Loyola Law School has some critical thoughts on the DOJ report "Competition and Monopoly: Single-Firm Conduct Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act" in his short article Hearing But Not Listening: Comparative Competition Law and the DOJ Monopoly Report.

ABSTRACT: The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) monopoly report is enormously disappointing for a number of reasons. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) was wise to participate in this important project, but equally wise to distance itself from the final work product. The final report represents a serious effort, but reads in too many places like a justification for a record of inaction by the DOJ and an attempt to lock in future administrations to a similar course.

I suspect that the report will achieve neither of these goals and hope that the DOJ’s Antitrust Division of the next administration rejoins the FTC in bringing both innovative and traditional monopolization investigations and cases where appropriate.

October 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits as Antitrust Violations

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Herberthovenkampphp Herb Hovenkamp, University of Iowa - College of Law, has written a new piece on The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits as Antitrust Violations.

ABSTRACT: Antitrust law's Walker Process doctrine permits a patent infringement defendant to show that an improperly maintained infringement action constitutes unlawful monopolization or an unlawful attempt to monopolize. The infringement defendant must show both that the lawsuit is improper, which establishes the conduct portion of the violation and generally satisfies tort law requirements, and also that the structural prerequisites for the monopolization offense are present. The doctrine also applies to non-patent infringement actions and has been applied by the Supreme Court to copyright infringement actions. Walker Process itself somewhat loosely derives from the Supreme Court's Noerr-Pennington line of cases holding that while the right to file a lawsuit is grounded in First Amendment concerns, the right does not extend to "baseless" litigation. The doctrine has not been particularly effective, however, mainly because patent boundaries are so poorly defined that it is often impossible to say that an infringement suit was baseless.

October 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

From Hard to Soft Enforcement of EC Competition Law - A Bestiary of 'Sunshine' Enforcement Instruments

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Nicolas Petit, University of Liege Law and Miguel Rato, Howrey write on From Hard to Soft Enforcement of EC Competition Law - A Bestiary of 'Sunshine' Enforcement Instruments.

ABSTRACT: For a number of reasons - notably its limited administrative resources - the European Commission (the Commission) seems to be relying increasingly on methods of competition law enforcement based on informal pronouncements (press releases, oral statements, etc.) and soft law instruments. Surprisingly, and in stark contrast with the extensive body of literature devoted to the Commission's more muscular enforcement initiatives under Articles 81 and 82 EC and the EC Merger Regulation (the ECMR), the pervasive use of soft law and informal legal instruments in European Community (EC) competition policy has gone relatively unnoticed.

In our view, these alternative mechanisms of competition law enforcement raise many important legal questions - not only theoretical but also of very significant practical relevance. For instance, is compliance with such instruments mandatory? Are they amenable to judicial review? Can they introduce new legal standards that depart from established case-law? To what extent can they be relied upon as a reference for competitive assessments, etc.?

The aim of this article is therefore to provide a broad picture of the various formal and informal instruments through which the Commission carries out the soft enforcement of EC competition rules. We refer to them as sunshine enforcement instruments and explain the reasons behind this label in Section I. We then provide a typology of those various instruments in Section II. Finally, we explore their advantages and drawbacks in Sections III and IV respectively. Section V concludes.

October 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Antitrust Practitioner Survey - Time is Running Out

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

I am conducting a survey of non-government antitrust practitioners (including practitioners with law firms and in-house) who undertake antitrust work in the United States to better understand how antitrust law shapes compliance. Because of the empirical gap in our knowledge about behavior outside of court cases, this survey has important policy and research implications. Please take 8-12 minutes to fill out this survey. The survey will close at the end of this month.

THIS IS THE FINAL REQUEST THAT I WILL MAKE FOR THE SURVEY.

If you are a non-government practitioner (with a law firm or in-house) who has an antitrust  practice in the United States, I ask that you take this survey.  The more responses that I can collect, the larger the survey population and the more meaningful the results will be.  So far 231 people have taken the survey.  If you read this blog and are a practitioner, please take this survey.  Make sure that all other antitrust practitioners in your law firm or company with a US practice take this survey too, so please forward this message to them.

Click Here to take survey

October 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Overview of Transparency at the Federal Trade Commission: Generalities and Innovations in Merger Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Malcolm B. Coate of the FTC's Bureau of Economics provides An Overview of Transparency at the Federal Trade Commission: Generalities and Innovations in Merger Analysis.

ABSTRACT: This paper presents an overview of the informal Transparency Project, a comprehensive study of the Federal Trade Commission's merger files that grew out of the 2004 data release. Analysis is presented for market definition, structure, competitive effects, entry, and efficiencies. Most of the papers follow the same basic structure; they introduce an issue related to the Merger Guidelines, review the files and generalize from the results. Commission staff appears to apply a wide range of models to evaluate mergers. Of particular interest are the innovations in merger analysis, including, but not limited too, the concept of a significant competitor, the use of evidence to test structural models and the application of Net Present Value to entry analysis.

October 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Competition Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Sector: The Nordic Countries' Experience

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

In a joint report, the competition authorities of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway assembled data on how reforms in the pharmaceutical market had worked in their countries in recent years. In many cases, these reforms have boosted competition on the Nordic markets.

October 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fixing Innovation Policy: A Structural Perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stuart Minor Benjamin, Duke University School of Law and Arti K. Rai, Duke University School of Law have some prescriptions for Fixing Innovation Policy: A Structural Perspective.

ABSTRACT: Innovation is central to economic growth and human welfare. Government officials and commentators have recognized this reality and have called for a variety of different substantive incentives for stimulating innovation. But the question of how an innovation regulator should be structured has received little attention. Such consideration is important not only because of the significance of innovation but also because current government innovation policy is so haphazard. There is no government entity that looks at innovation broadly, and the narrower agencies that regulate aspects of innovation policy not only fail to pay systematic attention to innovation goals but often act at cross-purposes with each another.

In this Article, Professors Benjamin and Rai analyze how government policy on innovation should be structured. Drawing on existing theoretical and empirical work, as well as their own original empirical research, they propose an executive branch entity that would both analyze pending agency action and offer regulatory suggestions of its own. This entity would introduce a new, trans-agency focus on innovation while drawing upon, and feeding into, existing executive branch processes that aim to rationalize the work of disparate federal agencies. This approach, Professors Benjamin and Rai contend, offers a great improvement over existing government institutions while avoiding a costly (and politically infeasible) remaking of the administrative state.

October 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vertical Restraints and the Law: Evidence from Automobile Franchising

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Giorgio Zanarone, Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros has a piece in the Journal of Law and Economics on Vertical Restraints and the Law: Evidence from Automobile Franchising.

ABSTRACT: This paper shows that, after a 2002 European regulation prohibited the use of dealer exclusive territories, automobile franchise contracts in Italy introduced price ceilings and standards on verifiable marketing and service inputs, such as advertising and salespeople. The contracts also imposed quantity floors, a practice already in use before the regulatory change. The introduction of standards suggests that, consistent with a view of vertical restraints as coordination mechanisms, manufacturers used exclusive territories to induce desired dealer services and, once prohibited, switched to alternative contractual devices to achieve this goal. The introduction of price ceilings despite free intrabrand competition also suggests car manufacturers tried to prevent some dealers from "gaming" the quantity floors by selling to other dealers' customers, while charging monopolistic prices at their own location.

October 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Patent Holdup, Patent Remedies, and Antitrust Responses

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Tom Cotter of the University of Minnesota Law School takes on Patent Holdup, Patent Remedies, and Antitrust Responses in his latest article.

ABSTRACT: Commentators on antitrust and patent law over the past decade have advanced the view that "patent holdup" poses a serious threat to innovation and consumer welfare. In recent months, however, a more skeptical literature has emerged to challenge patent holdup on both theoretical and empirical grounds. This article responds to the skeptics' theoretical challenge, by placing patent holdup within the broader class of holdup or holdout behavior as discussed in mainstream law and economics. Defining patent holdup as a type of opportunistic behavior that threatens substantial harms to both static and dynamic efficiency, I argue that both the law of patent remedies and the law of antitrust should play a role (albeit a limited one) in responding to, or enabling private efforts to avoid, patent holdup. As for remedies, I argue, among other things, that consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in eBay, inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. courts should award damages in lieu of injunctive relief in a subset of patent infringement cases involving serious risks of holdup-generated harm to either static or dynamic welfare. On the antitrust side, I argue, contrary to the D.C. Circuit's holding in Rambus, Inc. v. FTC, that a patent owner's deceptive conduct that results in the adoption of its patented technology or that enables the patent owner to avoid a RAND licensing commitment can be actionable as a violation of Sherman Act section 2. I also argue that, consistent with the recommendations of many recent observers (including the Antitrust Modernization Commission), joint bargaining between standard setting organizations, on the one hand, and individual members/patent owners, on the other, over the price terms of patent licenses should be evaluated under the rule of reason-though only to the extent that such collective bargaining is reasonably necessary to avoid the threat that holdup poses to dynamic efficiency.

October 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FTC at 100: Into Our Second Century - NY Edition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The FTC has announced the panelists that will appear for the FTC at 100 Roundtable in New York at Fordham Law School. 

October 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Competition Policy and Sector-Specific Regulation for Network Industries

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods) provides some insights into Competition Policy and Sector-Specific Regulation for Network Industries.

ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the respective roles of competition policy and sector-specific regulation for industries such as telecommunications, electricity, and gas, in which network infrastructures that are natural monopolies serve as essential facilities for anybody who wants to provide services in downstream markets. Whereas, in the past, such industries tended to be organized as state-owned or state-regulated vertically integrated monopolies, after a fundamental change of paradigm, appropriate governance nowadays is considered to involve downstream competition supported by a state-mandated access provision to the monopoly infrastructures. Following a brief sketch of the paradigm change, the paper enters into a systematic discussion of (i) the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the two policy regimes in enforcing access provision, (ii) the appropriate framework for drawing the line between regulated and unregulated parts of the industry, and (iii) a set of issues that arise when competition policy and to sector-specific regulation apply to a given industry at the same time. The discussion refers to (i) the German experience before 2005 when competition policy was used to regulate access in the energy sector, (ii) the European Directives of 2002, which rely on the concepts of "market" and "significant market power" to determine which parts of the industry should be subject to regulation, and (iii) the recent cases in the telecommunications and postal sectors in which European competition law was used to proscribe behaviour that had been accepted by national regulators.

October 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Revisiting Injunctive Relief: Interpreting eBay in High-Tech Industries with Non-Practicing Patent Holders

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vincenzo Denicolò (University of Bologna - Department of Economics), Damien Geradin (Tilberg University Law and Economics Center), Anne Layne-Farrar (LECG), and A. Jorge Padilla (LECG) take on competition issues in the patent context in Revisiting Injunctive Relief: Interpreting eBay in High-Tech Industries with Non-Practicing Patent Holders.

ABSTRACT: The Supreme Court's 2006 eBay ruling marked a turning point in injunctive relief policy. Unfortunately, there seems to be considerable confusion about the implications of the decision. Some authors, concerned over patent holdup and excessive royalty rates, interpret the eBay decision as giving a green light to district courts to deny injunctive relief to non-manufacturing patent owners. Using an error cost framework, we examine the theory and evidence behind patent holdup concerns as they relate to injunctive relief policy. We find that the holdup theory justifying categorical limitations on injunctive relief rests upon overly narrow assumptions. As a result, categorical limitations are likely to result in substantial false positives, where patent holders with no designs of patent holdup are nonetheless denied injunctive relief. Instead of advocating categories of denial, we argue that the majority opinion in eBay can and should be read as a return to a balancing test, where costs and benefits are weighed carefully before granting or denying a patent injunction.

October 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Daubert, Science, and Modern Game Theory: Implications for Merger Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Malcolm B. Coate and Jeffrey H. Fischer both of the FTC's Bureau of Economics have an interesting paper in Daubert, Science, and Modern Game Theory: Implications for Merger Analysis.

ABSTRACT: To be admissible in federal court under the Daubert standard, expert economic testimony must be (1) based on scientific analysis; and (2) aid the dispute resolution process. Expert evidence should be considered scientific when it (1) meets Karl Popper's falsification standard; and (2) some evidence compatible with the scientific proposition is provided. Standard competitive and monopoly models are well supported in the literature and therefore would generally meet this standard, while structuralism clearly fails the test. Modern game theoretic analysis focuses on either collusion (coordinated interaction) or unilateral effects but only raises the possibility of a merger-related competitive problem and thus must be supported with case-specific evidence to be considered scientific. Economic evidence underpinning game theoretic analysis can involve either a "systematic" study of competition in a market or a narrow "shock" analysis of a specific economic event. When both parties to a merger dispute provide evidence admissible under the Daubert standard, the court must resolve the scientific dispute in the decision on the merits.

October 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Deterrence in Competition Policy

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The 16th WZB Conference on Markets and Politics and the 2nd Conference of the Research Network on Innovation and Competition Policy (RNIC)

Deterrence in Competition Policy

Draft Program

Friday, October 17, 2008

13:00 – 14:00 Registration and Welcome

Session I: Dynamic and Efficiency Effects of Competition Policy

14:00 – 14:45 Dynamic Merger Review
* Volker Nocke (Oxford University and CEPR)
Michael Whinston (Northwestern University and NBER)
Discussant: Pedro Pita Barros (Universidade Nova de Lisboa and CEPR)

14:45 – 15:30 Competition Policy and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Analysis
Paolo Buccirossi (LEAR)
* Tomaso Duso (Humboldt University and WZB)
Lorenzo Ciari (European University Institute)
Giancarlo Spagnolo (Univ. of Rome Tor Vergata, Stockholm School of Economics and CEPR)
Cristiana Vitale (LEAR)
Discussant: Klaus Gugler (University of Vienna)

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

Session II: Deterrence Effects of Merger Policy

16:00 – 16:45 Optimal Merger Policy
Lars Sørgard (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
Discussant: Albert Banal-Estañol (City University London and Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

16:45 – 17:30 Deterrence of Horizontal Mergers: Empirical Evidence from U.S. industries
* Joe Clougherty (WZB and CEPR)
Jo Seldeslachts (WZB)
Discussant: Maarten-Pieter Schinkel (University of Amsterdam)

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee break

Session III: Keynote Lecture

18:00 – 19:00 The Impact of Corporate Leniency on Cartel Formation in a Model of Endogenous
Antitrust Enforcement
Joseph Harrington (John Hopkins University)
Discussant: Yossi Spiegel (University of Tel Aviv and CEPR)

19:30 Conference Dinner, sponsored by the ESMT (European School of Management and
Technology)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Session IV: Costs and Benefits of Judicial Actions

10:00 – 10:45 Judicial Errors and Innovative Activity
* Giovanni Immordino (University of Salerno and CSEF)
Michele Polo (Bocconi University)
Discussant: Roland Strausz (Humboldt University)

10:45 – 11:30 The Incapacitation Effect of Incarceration: Evidence From Several Italian Collective
Pardons
Alessandro Barbarino (Federal Reserve Board, Washington)
* Giovanni Mastrobuoni (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
Discussant: Daniel Cerquera (ZEW)

11:30 – 13:00 Lunch break

Session V: Deterrence Effects of Private Enforcement and Criminal Law

13:00 – 13:45 The Scope of Criminal Law and Criminal Sanctions: An Economic View and Policy
Implications
* Roger Bowles (University of York)
Michael Faure (University of Maastricht)
Nuno Garoupa (University of Illinois and IMDEA)
Discussant: Maurice Stucke (University of Tennessee and American Antitrust Institute)

13:45 – 14:30 Antitrust Privatisation or Criminalisation – Should we Bankrupt or Hang Price-Fixers?
Florian Wagner-von Papp (University College London)
Discussant: Daniel Zimmer (University of Bonn)

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break

Session VI: Experimental Evidence on Deterrence

15:00 – 15:45 From Overt to Tacit Collusion: Experimental Evidence on the Adverse Effects of
Corporate Leniency Programs
Jeroen Hinloopen (University of Amsterdam and KU Leuven)
* Adriaan Soetevent (University of Amsterdam)
Discussant: Wieland Müller (Tilburg University)

15:45 – 16:30 Risk Aversion, Prospect Theory, and Strategic Risk in Law Enforcement: Evidence from
an Antitrust Experiment
Maria Bigoni (University of Padua)
Sven-Olof Fridolfsson (Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm)
Chloe Le Coq (Stockholm School of Economics)
* Giancarlo Spagnolo (Univ. of Rome Tor Vergata, Stockholm School of Economics and CEPR)
Discussant: Debrah Meloso (Bocconi University)

16:30 – 17:00 Closing Remarks
Lars-Hendrik Röller (ESMT, WZB and Humboldt University)

19:00 Informal Dinner
Organizers
Jo Seldeslachts (WZB)
Tomaso Duso (Humboldt University and WZB)
Lars-Hendrik Röller (ESMT, WZB and CEPR)

October 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

State Illinois Brick Repealer Legislation: Major Options and a Proposed Model Statute

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Robert H. Lande of the University of Baltimore Law School has a new piece on State Illinois Brick Repealer Legislation: Major Options and a Proposed Model Statute.

ABSTRACT: Illinois Brick held that only direct purchasers successfully can sue for damages under federal antitrust law. Since this left most true victims of antitrust violations without an effective remedy, most states enacted Illinois Brick Repealers (IBRs), to give indirect purchasers the right to sue for damages when firms violate analogous state laws.

Although many benefits would arise if national legislation overturned Illinois Brick, to date every attempt to achieve a comprehensive federal solution has failed. Because this thirty year stalemate is almost certain to continue, this article instead focused on reform at the state level, where reform is much more achievable.

This article presents a large number of IBR options that address the spectrum of a state's potential needs, together with commentary giving the major effects, advantages and disadvantages of each. As its Conclusion, this article suggests its own Model State Illinois Brick Repealer legislation.

October 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Commission adopts Communication on the application of State aid rules to measures taken in relation to financial institutions in the context of the current global financial crisis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

DG Competition has release a on its website The application of State aid rules to measures taken in relation to financial institutions in the context of the current global financial crisis.  Two of the introductory paragraphs are particularly interesting (italics mine):

(4) Given the scale of the crisis, now also endangering fundamentally sound banks, the high degree of integration and interdependence of European financial markets, and the drastic repercussions of the potential failure of a systematically relevant financial institution further exacerbating the crisis, the Commission recognises that Member States may consider it necessary to adopt appropriate measures to safeguard the stability of the financial system. Due to the particular nature of the current problems in the financial sector such measures may have to extend beyond the stabilisation of individual financial institutions and include general schemes.

(5) While the exceptional circumstances prevailing at the moment have to be duly taken into account when applying the State aid rules to measures addressing the crisis in the financial markets the Commission has to ensure that such measures do not generate unnecessary distortions of competitions between financial institutions operating in the market or negative spillover effects on other Member States. It is the purpose of this document to provide guidance on the criteria relevant for the compatibility with the Treaty of general schemes as well as individual cases of application of such schemes and ad hoc cases of systemic relevance. In applying these criteria to measures taken by Member States, the Commission will proceed with the swiftness that is necessary to ensure legal certainty and to restore confidence in financial markets.

October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Optimal Sequential Investigation Rules in Competition Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Wolfgang Kerber, Philipps University Marburg - Department of Business Administration and Economics, Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, Philipps University Marburg, and Georg von Wangenheim, University of Kassel discuss Optimal Sequential Investigation Rules in Competition Law.

ABSTRACT: Although both in US antitrust and European competition law there is a clear evolution to a much broader application of "rule of reason" (instead of per-se rules), there is also an increasing awareness of the problems of a case-by-case approach. The "error costs approach" (minimizing the sum of welfare costs of decision errors and administrative costs) allows not only to decide between these two extremes, but also to design optimally differentiated rules (with an optimal depth of investigation) as intermediate solutions between simple per-se rules and a full-scale rule of reason. In this paper we present a decision-theoretic model that can be used as an instrument for deriving optimal rules for a sequential investigation process in competition law. Such a sequential investigation can be interpreted as a step-by-step sorting process into ever smaller subclasses of cases that help to discriminate better between pro- and anticompetitive cases. We analyze both the problem of optimal stopping of the investigation and optimal sequencing of the assessment criteria in an investigation. To illustrate, we show how a more differentiated rule on resale price maintenance could be derived after the rejection of its per-se prohibition by the US Supreme Court in the "Leegin" case 2007.

October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Pros and Cons of Vertical Restraints

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Swedish Competition Authority will host a seminar on The Pros and Cons of Vertical Restraints.

Programme, Friday 7 November

8.30 Registration and coffee
9.00 Introduction by the Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

The moderator for the seminar is Lucas Peeperkorn.
9.20 Margaret Slade: The Anticompetitive Effects of Vertical Restraints: An Evidence Based Approach.
Discussant: Christian Ewald
 
10.20 Coffee
10.50 Daniel O’Brien: Antitrust Policy Toward Vertical Restraints: Beyond the Possibility Theorems.
Discussant: Valerie Meunier.
11.50 Paul Dobson: Buyer-driven Vertical Restraints.
Discussant: Søren Gaard.
12.50 Lunch
14.00 Patrick Rey: Price Control in Vertical Relations.
Discussant: Joao E. Gata.
15.00 Coffee
15.30 Joanna Goyder: "The EC Policy Review and Resale Price Maintenance: Is Nothing Sacred?"
Discussant:  Matthew Bennett.
16.30 Closing of seminar, DG SCA and Lucas Peeperkorn

Each speaker has 35 minutes for their presentations; the discussants have 15 minutes each, leaving 10 minutes for general discussion.

Venue

The seminar venue is World Trade Center Stockholm, directly adjacent to Arlanda Express, the express rail link with Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The conference venue is marked by red dot.

Contributors 

Paul Dobson, Loughborough University
Joanna Goyder, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Daniel O’Brien, US Federal Trade Commission
Patrick Rey, IDEI, Université Toulouse I
Margaret Slade, University of Warwick, University of British Columbia

We have the pleasure of announcing that, among others, the following senior officials will comment on the presentations:

Matthew Bennett, Office of Fair Trading, United Kingdom
Søren Gaard, Danish Competition Authority
Valerie Meunier, Conseil de la concurrence, France
Joao E. Gata, Portuguese Competition Authority
Christian Ewald, Bundeskartellamt, Germany

Moderator of the seminar will be Lucas Peeperkorn, DG Competition, European Commission.

Registration 

All matters regarding registration and accommodation are handled by Congrex Sweden AB, pros-cons@congrex.se . Please register here.

You can register until October 15.

Questions 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our head of the organizing committee Arvid Fredenberg at arvid.fredenberg@kkv.se .

October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FTC at 100: A Boston Perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Another city, another all-star lineup.  This time the FTC at 100 tour stops in Boston, the home of the Red Sox, Cheers, Paul Revere, and roughly 60 colleges.  I suspect that a number of the participants will say something along the lines of increased reliance on the rule of reason, which the private practitioners will love to hear since it means more work for them.

The FTC Agenda for the BU sessions can be found here.

Note that the FTC chose as host institutions in both Chicago (Northwestern) and Boston (BU) neither of the two universities- University of Chicago and Harvard - that have dominated the intellectual development of antitrust of the past half century.

October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)