Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Year in Review: Economics at the Antitrust Division, 2007–2008

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The annual Review of Industrial Organization Year in Review of DOJ Antitrust is available.  Authored this year by Ken Heyer and Nicholas Hill, this is a short and wonderful piece.

Download heyer-hill_1.pdf

November 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Emperor's New Clothes: Lifting the NCAA's Veil of Amateurism

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Amy C. McCormick, Michigan State University College of Law and Robert A. McCormick, Michigan State University College of Law bring us The Emperor's New Clothes: Lifting the NCAA's Veil of Amateurism.

ABSTRACT: In The Emperor's New Clothes: Lifting the NCAA's Veil of Amateurism, Professors Amy and Robert McCormick expose a theme common to three areas of law - labor, antitrust, and tax. Each of these laws, in its own way, distinguishes between commercial and amateur activities, regulating the former and exempting the latter. Assuming major college sports to be amateur, these laws have exempted college athletics from regulation, providing them unwarranted shelter. We challenge this assumption by examining in rich detail the profoundly commercial character of the college sports industry. Like the child in the fable who alone revealed the emperor's nakedness, we lift the NCAA's veil of amateurism, exposing the deeply commercial nature of major college sports and calling for the laws' application to them.

November 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Collusion in Auctions for Emission Permits: An Experimental Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Dallas Burtraw, Resources for the Future, Jacob K. Goeree, California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles A. Holt, University of Virginia - Department of Economics, Erica C. Myers, Resources for the Future, Karen L. Palmer, Resources for the Future, William Shobe, provide some insights into Collusion in Auctions for Emission Permits: An Experimental Analysis.

ABSTRACT: Environmental markets have several institutional features that provide a new context for the use of auctions and which have not been studied previously. This paper reports on laboratory experiments testing three auction forms: uniform and discriminatory price sealed bid auctions and an ascending clock auction. We test the ability of subjects to tacitly or explicitly collude in order to maximize profits. Our main result is that the discriminatory and uniform price auctions produce greater revenues than the clock auction, both without and with explicit communication. The clock appears to be more subject to successful collusion because of its sequential structure and because it allows bidders to focus on one dimension of cooperation (quantity) rather than two (price and quantity).

November 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Antitrust Featured at SMU Dedman Conference-Fri, Nov 7

(posted by Shubha Ghosh)

International Competition Policy is one of the four featured topics at the Nov 7 conference on The Rise of Transnational Networks.  Professor Eleanor Fox of NYU School of Law, Professor George A Bermann of Columbia Law School, and Russell Damtoft, Associate Director of the Office of International Affairs at the Federal Trade Commission are the featured speakers.  The panel will be moderated by Professor C. Paul Rogers III, distinguished Dedman professor and former Dean of the Law School.  The conference is an important and one worth attending.

November 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ex Post Assessment of Regulation 1/2003

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ian Forrester of White & Case provides an Ex Post Assessment of Regulation 1/2003.

ABSTRACT: More than 25 years ago, Christopher Norall and I wrote an article challenging the Commission’s approach to the application of Articles 81(1) and (3) EC, calling for the priests of competition law in Brussels to trust the laity more, to share enforcement duties with others, and to be less formalistic in interpreting the rules. It was one of a string of articles which suggested that the Commission could not maintain its monopoly over the grant of exemptions. Its theory that the prohibition of Article 81(1) EC caught everything which might have a remotely discernible effect on competition was understandable for the early days of an untested institution, dubious about the scope of its competence and the reception its theories would receive from courts and businesses. The theory needed to adapt to the realities of an enlarged Europe. After years of hesitation, the Commission wisely chose to share enforcement with national courts and national competition authorities. This was a massive change in course, widely and justly commended.

The biggest success of the reform has been the unexpectedly large surge in cooperation among national competition agencies, and between the competition agencies and the Commission. EC competition law has become a routine part of the business, economic, and governmental environment in Europe. There have been some unconvincing and some bad decisions; inconsistent decisions; eccentric national legislation (my favorite being Greek Law No 3373/2005 which kept in force the administrative prior authorization system and brought back compulsory notification for vertical agreements); but many good decisions. Instead of a tiny number of flagship European Commission decisions which were really major new pieces of rule-making, decisions applying the competition rules by competition authorities across the EU have now become commonplace. This is, I suggest, the most important point.

November 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)