Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Competition in Agriculture Online Symposium Next Week

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

With some invitations still outstanding, I am happy to report that we have what is shaping up to be a very interesting online symposium.

The Department of Justice and US Department of Agriculture announced in August 2009 that they would be organizing a series of public workshops in 2010 focusing on competition in the agriculture sector. They also launched a public comment period that ran until the end of 2010 soliciting comments from interested stakeholders on the state of competition in the agriculture sector. The first workshop will be held in Ankeny, Iowa on March 12th and subsequent workshops will take place throughout the country in 2010. For more details please see here.

Ahead of the workshops, I have asked a number of experts on agriculture and competition issues to provide comments of no more than 300 words on the following topics:

What is the appropriate role of government and antitrust enforcement in the agriculture sector?

What are the potential long-term impacts of the DOJ and USDA workshop series on the agriculture sector?

Given the GAO report on consumer impacts of industry consolidation, what consumer benefits could be delivered/harmed via antitrust action in the agriculture sector?

What considerations should be taken into account when regulators become involved in commercial disputes?

There have been a number of discussions about the intersection between intellectual property and competition policy. What should regulators keep in mind when they enter into such discussions?

So far, people who have committed to participate in our online symposium include:
Christina Bohannan (U. Iowa Law)
Ron Cass (former Dean of BU Law)
Jeff Harrison (U. Florida Law)
Scott Kieff (GW Law)
Andrew Novakovic (Cornell Applied Economics; Director Cornell Program on Dairy Markets and Policy)
George Priest (Yale Law)
Kyle Stiegert (U. Wisconsin Agricultural and Applied Economics; Director, Food System Research Group)
Mike Sykuta (U. Missouri Agricultural and Applied Economics)
Josh Wright (George Mason Law)

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