Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Behavioral Antitrust

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Amanda P. Reeves, Federal Trade Commission and Maurice E. Stucke, University of Tennessee College of Law have a new paper on Behavioral Antitrust.

ABSTRACT: Competition policy is entering a new age. Interest in competition laws has increased world-wide, and the United States no longer holds a monopoly on antitrust policy. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the question for competition authorities is whether and to what extent does bounded rationality, self-interest and willpower matter. This article explores how the behavioral economics literature will advance competition policy. With increasing interest in the United States and abroad in the implications of behavioral economics for competition policy, this Article first provides an overview of behavioral economics. It next discusses how the assumption of rational, self-interested profit maximizers became so embedded in competition policy. The Article then discusses to what extent the behavioral economics literature can inform antitrust policies, and provides several recommendations related to the practical application of behavioral economics to competition policy going forward.

May 15, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 14, 2010

An Introduction to Arbitration and Competition Law: Troubled Waters on the Way to a Brave New World

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Conor C. Talbot, European University Institute - Department of Law provides An Introduction to Arbitration and Competition Law: Troubled Waters on the Way to a Brave New World.

ABSTRACT: Arbitration and competition law are quite strange bedfellows. In some ways they are inherently contradictory and incompatible, but equally they can greatly complement one another in certain situations. This paper charts the increasingly widespread use of arbitration as a means of settling competition law claims, before assessing the appropriateness of such developments and the potential impacts on competition law in the future.

May 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

My brother is recognized by the Financial Times for His Superior Financial Modeling

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

There was a dinner that the FT hosted last night in New York that recognized top research equity analysts.  My brother Ariel was among those recognized.  See here.

May 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Collusive Networks in Market-Sharing Agreements Under the Presence of an Antitrust Authority

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Flavia Roldan, Public-Private Sector Research Center, IESE Business discusses Collusive Networks in Market-Sharing Agreements Under the Presence of an Antitrust Authority.

ABSTRACT: This article studies how the presence of an antitrust authority affects market-sharing agreements made by firms. These agreements prevent firms from entering each other's market. The set of these agreements defines a collusive network, which is pursued by antitrust authorities. This article shows that while in the absence of the antitrust authority, a network is stable if its alliances are large enough when considering the antitrust authority, and more competitive structures can be sustained through bilateral agreements. Antitrust laws may have a pro-competitive effect, as they give firms in large alliances more incentives to cut their agreements at once.

May 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PPI Remittal Decision Report and Press release published

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally decided that consumers will benefit from the introduction of a point-of-sale prohibition for all forms of payment protection insurance (PPI), with the exception of retail PPI.

See the Provisional decision report and Press release, and Supplementary Notice of Possible Remedies for Retail PPI.

May 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Competition Policy and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Assessment

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Paolo Buccirossi (LEAR), Lorenzo Ciari (LEAR and EUI), Tomaso Duso (Humboldt University Berlin and WZB), Giancarlo Spagnolo (University of Rome Tor Vergata SITE, EIEF, CEPR), and Cristiana Vitale (LEAR) have an interesting paper on Competition Policy and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Assessment.

ABSTRACT: This paper empirically investigates the effectiveness of competition policy by estimating its impact on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth for 22 industries in 12 OECD countries over the period 1995-2005. We find a robust positive and significant effect of competition policy asmeasured by newly created indexes. We provide several arguments and results based on instrumental variables estimators as well as non-linearities to support the claim that the established link can be interpreted in a causal way. At a disaggregated level, the effect on TFP growth is particularly strong for specific aspects of competition policy related to its institutional setup and antitrust activities (rather than merger control). The effect is strengthened by good legal systems, suggesting complementarities between competition policy and the efficiency of law enforcement institutions.

May 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Impact of Vertical Integration and Outsourcing on Firm Efficiency: Evidence from the Italian Machine Tool Industry

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Fabio Pieri and Enrico Zaninotto (DISA, Faculty of Economics, Trento University) analyze The Impact of Vertical Integration and Outsourcing on Firm Efficiency: Evidence from the Italian Machine Tool Industry.

ABSTRACT: In this paper we made use of an econometric approach to efficiency analysis in order to capture the role of vertical integration and outsourcing on firm's efficiency. Vertical integration is considered an indicator of structure, while outsourcing represents the process of its change. We consider inefficiency measures as indicators of organizational heterogeneity, related to the firm's choices regarding the phases of the production process that are under its control. We find support for the hypothesis of a relationship between vertical integration and efficiency. The results on outsourcing activity, and in particular the interaction between outsourcing and vertical structure, indicate that heterogeneous patterns, far from tending to cancel out each other as a consequence of common external changes, are reinforcing. Moreover, the sensitivity of inefficiency variance to the cycle, indicate that different firms may have diff! erent dynamic properties.

May 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Intra-Industry Adjustment to Import Competition: Theory and Application to the German Clothing Industry

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Horst Raff (Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Department of Economics, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel), and Joachim Wagner (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany) explore Intra-Industry Adjustment to Import Competition: Theory and Application to the German Clothing Industry.

ABSTRACT: This paper uses an oligopoly model with heterogeneous firms to examine how an industry adjusts to rising import competition. The model predicts that in the short run the least efficient firms in the industry become inactive, surviving firms face a fall in output, mark-ups and profits, and the average productivity of survivors increases. These pro-competitive effects of import penetration on the domestic industry disappear in the long run. The predictions for the short run are confirmed in an empirical study of the German clothing industry.

May 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Product Quality, Product Price, and Share Dynamics in the German Compact Car Market

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Uwe Cantner (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena), Jens J. Krüger (Technical University Darmstadt, Fachbereich Rechts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften), and Rene Söllner (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, DFG-RTG "The Economics of Innovative Change") discuss Product Quality, Product Price, and Share Dynamics in the German Compact Car Market.

ABSTRACT: The present paper examines one of the central elements of evolutionary thinking - competition formalized by the replicator dynamics mechanism. Using data on product characteristics of automobiles sold on the German domestic market over the period 2001-2006, we construct a competitiveness or fitness variable for each car model applying non-parametric efficiency measurement techniques. The basic question we intend to answer is whether cars providing a higher quality-price ratio for consumers tend to increase their market share compared to variants with lower quality-price ratios. The relationship between a car models' fitness and its market performance is empirically tested in a regression framework. The results show that the principle of `growth of the fitter' is working as suggested by evolutionary theory. In particular, we find that car models with considerably lower fitness than the market average lose, whereas models ! with above-average fitness gain additional market shares.

May 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

CALL FOR PAPERS                    
November 18 and 19, 2010               
Washington, D.C.                   
The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics, Northwestern University's Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth, and Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Industrial Organization will host a two day conference to bring together scholars working in areas related to the FTC's antitrust, consumer protection and public policy missions. Those areas include industrial organization, information economics, game theory, quantitative marketing, consumer behavior, law and economics, behavioral and experimental economics. 
Relevant topics include advertising, information disclosure, mergers, vertical practices, mortgages and credit markets, bundling, loyalty discounts, dynamic demand estimation, business practices and consumer choice, intellectual property, optimal penalties, and cost-benefit analysis in law enforcement.
 Interested participants should send an abstract or completed paper to:
     by July 7, 2010.
     We also welcome suggestions for panel discussions.
     The scientific committee for the conference is:
     - Roman Inderst (Frankfurt)
     - Fiona Scott Morton (Yale SOM)
     - Aviv Nevo (Northwestern)
     - David Laibson (Harvard)
     - Chris Adams (FTC)
     - Paul Rothstein (FTC)
     The conference will be held at:
     The Federal Trade Commission
     New Jersey Avenue
     Conference Center
     601 New Jersey Avenue NW
     Washington, DC 20001

May 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Testing for Asymmetric Pricing Behaviour in Irish and UK Petrol and Diesel Markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Bermingham, Colin (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland) and O’ Brien, Derry (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland) describe Testing for Asymmetric Pricing Behaviour in Irish and UK Petrol and Diesel Markets.

ABSTRACT: This paper empirically tests whether Irish and UK petrol and diesel markets are characterised by asymmetric pricing behaviour. The econometric assessment uses threshold autoregressive models and a dataset of monthly refined oil and retail prices covering the period 1997 to mid-2009. A methodological note is included on the importance of the specification of the number of possible regimes. In particular, the possibility of conflicting price pressures arising from short-run dynamics in retail prices and responses to disequilibrium errors needs to be explicitly modelled. For both the Irish and UK liquid fuel markets at national levels, the paper concludes that there is no evidence to support the “rockets and feathers” hypothesis that retail prices rise faster than they fall in response to changes in oil prices. It is still possible that a lack of competition at a more local level may accommodate asymmetric pricing behaviour.

May 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spatial competition and cross-border shopping

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Brian Knight (Brown University ) and Nathan Schiff (University of Bristish Columbia) explore Spatial competition and cross-border shopping.

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates competition between jurisdictions in the context of cross-border shopping for state lottery tickets. We first develop a simple theoretical model in which consumers choose between state lotteries and face a trade-off between travel costs and the price of a fair gamble, which is declining in the size of the jackpot and the odds of winning. Given this trade-off, the model predicts that per-resident sales should be more responsive to prices in small states with densely populated borders, relative to large states with sparsely populated borders. Our empirical analysis focuses on the multi-state games of Powerball and Mega Millions, and the identification strategy is based upon high-frequency variation in prices due to the rollover feature of lottery jackpots. The empirical results support the predictions of the model. The magnitude of these effects is large, suggesting that states do face competitive p! ressures from neighboring lotteries, but the effects vary significantly across states.

May 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Harmful competition in the insurance markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Giuseppe De Feo (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde) and Jean Hindriks (Department of Economics and CORE, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium) have posted Harmful competition in the insurance markets.

ABSTRACT: There is a general presumption that competition is a good thing. In this paper we show that competition in the insurance markets can be bad and that adverse selection is in general worse under competition than under monopoly. The reason is that monopoly can exploit its market power to relax incentive constraints by cross-subsidization between different risk types. Cream-skimming behavior, on the contrary, prevents competitive firms from using implicit transfers. In effect monopoly is shown to provide better coverage to those buying insurance but at the cost of limiting participation to insurance. Performing simulation for different distributions of risk, we find that monopoly in general performs (much) better than competition in terms of the realization of the gains from trade across all traders in equilibrium. However, most of the surplus is retained by the firm and, as a result, most individuals prefer competitive mark! ets notwithstanding their performance is generally poorer than monopoly.

May 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Global Antitrust Enforcement & Compliance Summit

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Global Antitrust Enforcement & Compliance Summit

An Advanced Forum to Address Increased International Agency Cooperation & Current Compliance Challenges Facing Antitrust Counsel

Tuesday, July 20 to Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Westin Washington, Washington, DC, United States

Never Before Has There Been Such a Convergence of Antitrust Enforcement Activity Around the Globe

Antitrust practitioners all around the world are watching how Joaquín Alumnia will develop the European Commission’s competition agenda as the new Commissioner for Competition, particularly given the Commission’s recent (and sometimes divergent) enforcement activity in the area of merger review. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission under Chairman Jon Leibowitz continues to focus on key areas of antitrust enforcement, particularly within the pharmaceutical and technology industries. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called for stepped-up antitrust enforcement of the agriculture industry. In China, antitrust practitioners are still struggling to determine how implementation of the 2008 Anti-Monopoly Law will take shape. Meanwhile, those concerned with criminal antitrust enforcement activity are keeping an eye fixed on Brazil and Canada, both of which have turned their attention to greater criminal punishments for price fixing violations.

Increased information sharing, international agency cooperation, and multi-jurisdictional antitrust investigations have made structuring an international antitrust compliance program a nearly impossible task.

Given recent international antitrust enforcement trends, staying abreast of foreign regulation in this area has become an increasinglyimportant priority for U.S.-based antitrust and compliance counsel. In direct response to your requests, American Conference Institutehas developed the Global Antitrust Enforcement & Compliance Summit to provide you with practical compliance strategies for tackling these challenges while still maintaining your company’s global business operations.

Don’t make the mistake of disregarding (or leaving it up to your foreign counsel to monitor) international developments in competition law. Learn to assess the scope of your company’s exposure to foreign antitrust enforcement while learning what you can do to proactively prevent government inquiries.

Hear directly from the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, Ministry of Justice of Brazil and the Competition Commission of Canada, as they provide you with firsthand information regarding what their respective agencies are turning their attention in terms of both civil and criminal antitrust enforcement

Reserve your space now by calling 888-224-2480, faxing your registration to 877-927-1563, or registering online at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

8:00 Registration Begins & Morning Coffee

9:00 Co-Chairs’ Opening Remarks

Deborah A. Garza
Co-Chair, Antitrust and Consumer Law Practice Group
Covington & Burling LLP (Washington, DC)

Trevor Soames
Co-Chair, Worldwide Antitrust Practice Group Managing Partner,
Brussels Office, Howrey LLP (Brussels, Belgium)

9:15 FTC Keynote Address: Expansion of Antitrust Enforcement under Section 5 of the FTC Act

Richard Feinstein
Bureau of Competition Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)

9:45 Focus on China - Responding to Increased Merger and Market Dominance Scrutiny & How China’s Anti-Monopoly Law Affects your Business

Lester Ross
Co-Managing Partner,
Beijing Office
Wilmer Hale LLP (Beijing, China)

Xiaolin Zhou
Managing Partner, New York Office
Jun He Law Offices (New York, NY)

  • Assessing the significance of the anti-monopoly law in China on your Chinese acquisitions and operations strategy
    • analyzing what may constitute
      • “abuse of intellectual property”
      • “market abuse position”:
      • how is market position determined
      • monopoly agreement
    • complying with pre-concentration notification obligations
  • What may trigger enforcement by MOFCOM under the new AML
  • What are the powers of the Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcement Authority?
  • Identifying current enforcement theories and priorities of Chinese antitrust regulators – liabilities for companies and individuals under China’s AML
  • Understanding the Chinese mindset and cultural differences to improve your global competition policy
  • Evaluating the implications of recent decisions in abuse of dominance and merger cases
    • failed/pending mergers:
      • Tengzhong-General Motors’ Hummer brand
      • Sina Corp-Focus Media
      • Coca-Cola-Huiyuan Juice
    • cleared mergers:
      • Panasonic-Sanyo
      • General Motors-Delphi Corp
      • InBev-Anheuser
      • Mitsubishi Rayon - Lucite international
    • other recent cases

10:45 Coffee Break

11:00 Structuring, Implementing and Monitoring a Global Antitrust Compliance Program Policy

Henry Thaggert
Senior Counsel
Northrop Grumman Corporation (Arlington, VA

Stephen Donovan
Chief Counsel,
International Compliance International Paper Company (Memphis, TN)

Darren A. Bowie
Legal Director,
North AmericaNokia Inc. (White Plains, NY)

Martha Rees
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel
DuPont Company (Wilmington, DE)

Moderator: Trevor Soames
Co-Chair, Worldwide Antitrust Practice Group Managing Partner,
Brussels OfficeHowrey LLP (Brussels, Belgium)

  • Managing the paper trail – establishing guidelines within the company regarding what should – and should not be – put in writing
  • Lessons learned from internal investigations that should be incorporated into your global compliance program
  • Structuring an effective global compliance program that will not drain your company’s budget
  • Ensuring your staff knows what to do when the government shows up – who to call immediately, what to do and not do
  • Processes, procedures and training
    • establishing timelines for revisiting -and auditing compliance
    • obtaining management buy-in and support -of your compliance program
    • managing world-wide business practices – tackling -cultural and generational issues that may present challenges for compliance

12:15 Focus on Japan - Overview of Current Antitrust Enforcement Initiatives & Key Regulations in Japan

Hideto Ishida
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Understanding the implications of recent changes to Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Law addressing
  • increased monetary fines and criminal sanctions -for collusive market conduct
  • longer statute of limitations for cartel conduct -and bid-rigging
  • exclusion type of monopolization
  • introduction of prior notification for share acquisition

12:45 Networking Luncheon for Attendees and Speakers

2:00 International Cartel Enforcement: What Triggers Investigations in the US, Canada and Brazil

Lisa M. Phelan
Chief, National Criminal Enforcement
U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (Washington, DC)

Randal T. Hughes
Leader, National Competition/Antitrust Law Group
McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Toronto, Ontario)

Mariana Tavares de Araujo
Secretary of Economic Law
Ministry of Justice of Brazil (Brasília, Brazil)

J. Brady Dugan

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Washington, DC)

  • Discussion of how leniency is obtained in different jurisdictions
  • Examining the increased coordination among enforcers in investigating and prosecuting cartels
  • Update on US DOJ’s criminal cartel enforcement activities
    • how international cartel investigations and foreign -defendants prosecutions are conducted
    • The Antitrust Division Recovery
  • Update on recent changes to the Canadian Competition Act
    • Competitor Collaboration Guidelines -(final published in December 2009)
    • Enforcement Guidelines on the Abuse of Dominance -Provisions (draft updated January 2009)
    • changes to the regulations governing resale price -maintenance and cartel provisions
  • Update on the current status of criminal cartel enforcement in Brazil
      • the roles of SDE and CADE in cartel enforcement
      • increased use of dawn raids
    • Analysis of recent trends in international enforcement
      • implications of the Ian Norris extradition
      • for international enforcement discussion of the growing number of jurisdictions criminalizing cartel offenses
      • best practices for avoiding enforcement

3:00 Ensuring International Merger Clearance: Structuring and Coordinating Cross-Border Mergers & Reviews

Deborah A. Garza
Co-Chair, Antitrust and Consumer Law Practice Group
Covington & Burling LLP (Washington, DC)

Mark Clough QC
Head, Competition Practice, London Office
Addleshaw Goddard LLP (London, UK)

  • Critical factors to concider when seeking merger clearance internationally
    • knowing where to (and where not to) file
      • jurisdiction tests
      • filing fees and non-filing fines
      • impact on deal structure, including closing date and conditions precedent
      • impact on deal timetable (filing procedures, first and second phase clearance time limits, commitments and divestment, appeals)
  • Determining who has the burden of proving that the proposed merger is pro-competitive
  • Case management (the core merger fling submission, local lawyers, local markets - customers and regulators, preparing the local filing)
  • Regional differences (watch for JVs in the EU, the EU one stop shop or 27 national filings, US second requests, language and translations)
  • Substantive issues (impact of different tests - SLC, SIEC, unilateral, co-ordinated, conglomerate and vertical effects)
  • Third party complaints and information requests- US/EU co-operation and convergenceEvaluating emerging theories addressing unilateral conduct by dominant fi rms in the context of M&A transactionsExamining the increased and strategic use of defense mergers
  • Evaluating perceived threats to competition in horizontal vs. vertical mergers
  • Responding to acquisition activity by a competitor
  • Contrasting U.S. with overseas merger enforcement activity
    • Oracle-Sun
    • Cisco-Tandberg
    • Pfizer-Wyeth & Merck-Schering-Plough
    • lessons learned from other recent cases
      • Microsoft
      • Qualcomm

4:00 Afternoon Refreshment Break

4:15 Responding to Multi-Jurisdictional Government Investigations & Agency Cooperation

Elizabeth Kraus
Deputy Director for International Antitrust
Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)

Robbert Snelders
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (Brussels, Belgium)

  • Steps to take immediately if your company is raided by the government
  • Understanding how international authorities cooperate and collaborate on cases
    • transfer and sharing of information
    • varying rules on confidentiality and attorney-client privilege
      • understanding how the EU treats privilege for in-house counsel
    • managing conflict of laws and comity issues when faced with government investigation in multiple jurisdictions
    • examining sources of tension and areas of cooperation -between US and foreign regulators
  • Coordinating a response when faced with simultaneous multi-jurisdictional investigations
    • implementing the best strategy to deal with multiple investigations
    • knowing what law governs and when
    • managing conflicting requirements of national and foreign agencies
  • Meeting the demands of law enforcers working beyond their national reach
  • Communicating with government authorities: balancing cooperation with maintain an effective defense
  • Trends in international cooperation among enforcement officials
  • Analysis of recent multi-jurisdictional cases against companies and individuals

5:15 Conference Adjourns to Day Two

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

8:15 Continental Breakfast

9:00 Co-Chairs’ Remarks

9:15 Vertical Restraints: Preventing Resale Price Maintenance, Distribution, and Other Pricing Arrangements That May Raise Global Antitrust Scrutiny

Alice Detwiler
Senior Attorney, Antitrust
Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA)

Elaine Foreman
Director, Antitrust and Worldwide Channel Sales
Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA)

Jonathan Jacobson
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (New York, NY)

Moderator: Robert Rosenfeld
Chair, Antitrust and Competition Group
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (San Francisco, CA)

  • Addressing pricing in international distribution agreements
  • how to establish pricing arrangements that will withstand antitrust scrutiny in various jurisdictions
  • Contrasting European acceptable pricing practices with what is permissible in the US
  • analyzing differences in the EU approach to Microsoft
  • applying Article 83 of the EC Treaty
  • Offering refunds/rebates to customers that may be construed to squeeze competitors out of the marketarguments for an against loyalty discounts
  • Avoiding triggers for resale price maintenance concerns and potential claims relating to vertical restraints
  • Understanding what types of practices can be considered predatory
  • what current activities can be considered abuse of dominance
  • price drops and what needs to be established to show predatory practices
  • Structuring pricing for combination products
  • Overcoming antitrust challenges raised by exclusive dealing, tying and bundling
  • Evaluating developments in recent caselaw concerning pricing
  • Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. Linkline Communications - antitrust duty to deal and price squeezing
  • Resale price maintenance, -Leegin, and the Leegin repealer statutes

10:30 Morning Coffee Break

10:45 Antitrust Internal Investigations: Conducting Reasonable and Responsible Investigations of Suspected Violations AND What to Do With the Information That Is Discovered

Christoph Leibenath
European Counsel
Nestlé SA (Paudex, Switzerland)

Howard Bergman
Assistant General Counsel
3M Company (Saint Paul, MN)

Jonas Koponen
Partner, Competition/Antitrust
Linklaters LLP (Brussels, Belgium)

  • Assessing the potential antitrust risk and defining the scope of the investigation appropriately
  • Coordinating the investigation between in-house and outside counsel
    • unique issues surrounding attorney-client privilege -when conducting internal investigations in Europe
  • How to conduct internal investigations cost-effectively
  • Maximizing credibility to the government
  • Deciding whether you’ve investigated “enough”
    • how much is enough?
  • Whether and how to prepare a report of investigation
    • what to do with the findings
    • what should, should not go in writing

12:00 Focus on Germany - Overview of Current Antitrust Enforcement Initiatives & Key Regulations in Germany

Christina Hummer
Saxinger Chalupsky & Partners (Brussels, Belgium)

  • Overview of sectors subject to ongoing investigations by the German Federal Cartel Office
  • Current developments in merger control, abuse of dominance and private litigation
  • Potential future changes in the fining policy of the German Federal Cartel Office

12:30 Networking Lunceon

1:45 Emerging Trends in Private Antitrust Litigation in the U.S. and Europe: Evaluating the Evolution of Pleading Standards and Class Action Litigation

Gail Levine
Assistant General Counsel
Verizon Communications Inc. (Washington, DC)

Aaron Panner
Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C. (Washington, DC)

  • How have Twombly and Iqbal been applied by district courts in antitrust cases – a check of the scoreboard
    • Are patterns emerging?
    • Is success a matter of luck-of-the-draw?
  • Comparing motion-to-dismiss practice pre-Twombly and post-Twombly
  • Twombly and Iqbal in the courts of appeals – are the circuits diverging?
  • How can a plaintiff satisfy the new pleading standards?
  • What are the pitfalls for defendants?


Rino Caiazzo
Ughi e Nunziante – Studio Legale (Rome, Italy)

  • Examining current global trends in private antitrust class action litigation and enforcement in Europe
  • Europe: approach of main Member States and common issues
  • European Commission White Paper harmonization scope: proposals
  • Update on the private antitrust litigation in
    • Italy – effective January 2010 Italian consumers can bring class actions to recover damages caused by anti-competitive and unfair commercial practices
    • Other main European countries

3:00 Afternoon Refreshment Break

3:15 Focus on India - Current Antitrust Enforcement Initiatives & Key Regulations in India

Anand Pathak
P&A Law Offices (New Delhi, India)

  • Applicability of the India Competition Act’s substantive provisions on
    • the conduct and behaviour of companies
    • mergers and acquisitions
  • Analyzing pitfalls for the unwary under the competition laws governing the prohibition of cartels, abuse of dominant position and merger control
  • Update on the current enforcement practices of the Competition Commission of India
  • Discussion of issues created by the regulatory framework for foreign investment in India

3:45 How IP Triggers Global Antitrust Scrutiny: Lessons Learned from Recent Patent Misuse and Standard Setting Cases

Richard S. Taffet
Bingham McCutchen LLP (New York, NY)

Thomas Lavelle
Vice President & General Counsel
Rambus (Los Altos, CA)

  • Weighing the pros and cons of compulsory license agreements
  • Evaluating IP licensing royalty rates
    • identifying acceptable ranges and triggers for antitrust scrutiny
    • licensee improvements and the impact on royalty payments
  • Studying emerging theories in abuse of market power cases, particularly in the context of IP licensing transactions
  • Mapping out terms of use and licensing restrictions that will not raise antitrust concerns
  • Cross-licensing between and among competitors – understanding what the antitrust implications are
  • Determining what types of license terms are problematic
  • Defining what may constitute exclusionary conduct
  • Contemplating whether there is a duty to license intellectual property
  • Addressing when innovation may be considered predatory
  • Understanding when product innovation leads to product-hopping
  • Lessons learned from recent antitrust cases involving royalty rates and standard setting
    • Rambus
    • Qualcomm

4:45 Conference Concludes

May 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Recent developments in Dutch hospitals; How does competition impact on inpatient care?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Sylvia Meijer, Rudy Douven, and Bernard van den Berg (all CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) ask about Recent developments in Dutch hospitals; How does competition impact on inpatient care?

ABSTRACT: The aim of this research was to explore the effect of the introduction of managed competition in Dutch inpatient hospital care. Firstly, we performed a literature study to determine competitive forces that have played a role in the US hospital market. Next, we discussed these forces with Dutch hospital board members to ascertain their relevance to the Dutch hospital market. The interviews revealed that Dutch insurers are cautiously initiating new initiatives such as selective contracting and united purchase combinations, and fiercely negotiate on price when buying hospital care. The board members suggested that the way to raise turnover is to increase hospital production. This resulted in growing quality competition between hospitals through the purchase of new technology and the launch of outpatient centres for specific treatments. Other forces that may have increased hospital production are the fee-for-service payment ! system of medical specialists and the practice of defensive medicine. As health insurers are apparently still unable to directly steer and control volume, this may result in more treatments by hospitals.

May 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Collapse of BA Trial Risks Undermining Cartel Enforcement

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Andreas Stephan (University of East Anglia) has an excellent post on how theCollapse of BA Trial Risks Undermining Cartel Enforcement.  It is worth reading. 

May 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Selective contracting and foreclosure in health care markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Michiel Bijlsma (Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis), Jan Boone (Tilburg Law and Economics Center), and Gijsbert Zwart (Tilburg Law and Economics Center) explore Selective contracting and foreclosure in health care markets.

ABSTRACT: We analyze exclusive contracts between health care providers and insurers in a model where some consumers choose to stay uninsured. In case of a monopoly insurer, exclusion of a provider changes the distribution of consumers who choose not to insure. Although the foreclosed care provider remains active in the market for the non-insured, we show that exclusion leads to anti-competitive effects on this non-insured market. As a consequence exclusion can raise industry profits, and then occurs in equilibrium. Under competitive insurance markets, the anticompetitive exclusive equilibrium survives. Uninsured consumers, however, are now not better off without exclusion. Competition among insurers raises prices in equilibria without exclusion, as a result of a horizontal analogue to the double marginalization effect. Instead, under competitive insurance markets exclusion is desirable as long as no provider is excluded by all insurers.

May 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Antitrust and the Changing Landscape of the Information Technology Sector

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Antitrust and the Changing Landscape of the Information Technology Sector

British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

Participants Speakers include:

Simon Baxter, Clifford Chance LLP
Philippe Chappatte, Slaughter and May
Heather Clayton, Office of Fair Trading
Tim Cowen, Open Computing Alliance
Thomas Deisenhofer, European Commission, DG COMP
James Flynn QC, Brick Court Chambers
Julia Holtz, Google
Stephen Kinsella OBE, Sidley Austin LLP
David Lawsky, Finsbury International Policy & Regulatory Advisers
Andrea Lofaro, RBB Economics
Miguel de la Mano, European Commission, Chief Economist's Office
Philip Mansfield, Allen & Overy LLP
Philip Marsden, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
Gil Ohana, Cisco Systems
Dieter Paemen, Clifford Chance LLP
Thomas Sharpe QC, One Essex Court
Trevor Soames, Howrey LLP
Bob Stillman, Charles River Associates
Jennifer Vasta, Qualcomm
Thomas Vinje, Clifford Chance LLP

A full day conference devoted to bringing together discussion of the most pressing issues.

Topics include:

  • Developments in IT and antitrust 2009/2010
  • Challenges presented by increasing concentration
  • Dominance in IT markets after the Microsoft and Intel cases
  • Standardisation and regulation
  • The IT Cartels: SDRAM, DRAM, CRT
  • Antitrust in the clouds: the new frontier (content, advertising and pricing)

May 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Discriminatory fees, coordination and investment in shared ATM networks

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stijn  Ferrari (National Bank of Belgium and Catholic University of Leuven) has posted Discriminatory fees, coordination and investment in shared ATM networks.

ABSTRACT: This paper empirically examines the effects of discriminatory fees on ATM investment and welfare, and considers the role of coordination in ATM investment between banks. Our main findings are that foreign fees tend to reduce ATM availability and (consumer) welfare, whereas surcharges positively affect ATM availability and the different welfare components when the consumers’ price elasticity is not too large. Second, an organization of the ATM market that contains some degree of coordination between the banks may be desirable from a welfare perspective. Finally, ATM availability is always higher when a social planner decides on discriminatory fees and ATM investment to maximize total welfare. This implies that there is underinvestment in ATMs, even in the presence of discriminatory fees.

May 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A revenue-based frontier measure of banking competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Santiago Carbó (University of Granada, Spain), David Humphrey (FSU), and Francisco Rodríguez (University of Granada, Spain) advocate for A revenue-based frontier measure of banking competition.

ABSTRACT: Measuring banking competition using the HHI, Lerner index, or H-statistic can give conflicting results. Borrowing from frontier analysis, the authors provide an alternative approach and apply it to Spain over 1992-2005. Controlling for differences in asset composition, productivity, scale economies, risk, and business cycle influences, they find no differences in competition between commercial and savings banks nor between large and small institutions, but the authors conclude that competition weakened after 2000. This appears related to strong loan demand where real loan-deposit rate spreads rose and fees were stable for activities where scale economies should have been realized.

May 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)