Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Michael Trebilcock Wins Premier's Discovery Award

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Antitrust Professor Michael Trebilcock (University of Toronto Law) has won the prestigious Premier's Discovery Award.  See the details here.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Inclusiveness of Exclusion

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Paulo Barelli (University of Rochester; Insper Institute of Education and Research), Suren Basov (La Trobe University), Mauricio Bugarin, and Ian Paul King (University of Melbourne) explain The Inclusiveness of Exclusion.

ABSTRACT: We extend Armstrong’s (1996) result on exclusion in multi-dimensional screening models in two key ways, providing support for the view that this result is quite generic and applicable to many different markets. First, we relax the strong technical assumptions he imposed on preferences and consumer types. Second, we extend the result beyond the monopolistic market structure to generalized oligopoly settings with entry. We also analyse applications to several quite different settings: credit markets, automobile industry, research grants, the regulation of a monopolist with unknown demand and cost functions, and involuntary unemployment in the labor market.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Advertised Meeting-the-Competition Clauses: Collusion Instead of Price Discrimination

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Oliver Budzinski (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark) and
Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer (Economic Policy Unit, Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany) discuss Advertised Meeting-the-Competition Clauses: Collusion Instead of Price Discrimination.

ABSTRACT: Pricing strategies may include the advertising of meeting-the-competition clauses (MCCs). We show in a specific spatial model scenario with differently informed consumers that MCCs primarily serve as a device to facilitate collu-sion instead of allowing for price discrimination between these consumers.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Antitrust and Healthcare

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Christine Varney gave a recent speech on Antitrust and Healthcare.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Merger Between Oracle and Sun: European Commission in Line with DoJ

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Daniel Zimmer (University of Bonn - Law; Member of the German Monopolies Commission) explains The Merger Between Oracle and Sun: European Commission in Line with DoJ.

ABSTRACT: The European Commission, relying among other things on a mere public announcement by the notifying concerning its future behaviour, clears the acquisition of the world's leading provider of open source databases by the leading vendor of proprietary databases.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

How much competition is a secondary market?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jiawei Chen (UC-Irvine), Susanna Esteban (Universitat Autµonoma de Barcelona), and Matthew Shum (Caltech) ask How much competition is a secondary market?

ABSTRACT: Do active secondary markets aid or harm durable goods manufacturers? We build a dynamic equilibrium model of durable goods oligopoly, with consumers who incur lumpy costs when transacting in the secondary market, and calibrate it to U.S. automobile industry data. By varying transaction costs, we obtain a direct measure of the competitive pressure that secondary markets create on durable goods manufacturers. For our calibrated parameter values, closing down the secondary market increases (net) profits of new car manufacturers by 39%. This suggests that regulatory changes that lower liquidity in secondary markets may aid manufacturers.

May 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Links to Reactions on American Needle

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Some reactions are out.  Randy Picker (U Chicago Law) has a post, as does Marc Edelman (Barry U. - Law), as does AAI.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The optimal industry structure in a vertically related market

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Raffaele Fiocco (Bocconi - Econ) describes The optimal industry structure in a vertically related market.

ABSTRACT: We consider a vertically related market characterized by down- stream imperfect competition and by the monopolistic provision of an essential facility-based input, whose price is set by a social-welfare maximizing regulator. Our model shows that the regulatory knowl- edge about the cost for providing the monopolistic input crucially af- fects the design of the optimal industry structure. In particular, we compare ownership separation, which prevents a single company from having the control of both upstream and downstream operations, and legal separation, under which these activities are legally unbundled but common ownership is allowed. As long as the regulator has full infor- mation, the two industry patterns yield the same social welfare level. However, under asymmetric information about the input costs legal separation can make the whole society better off.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

American Needle v. NFL: reversed, in a unanimous opinion by the Supreme Court

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The opinion is here.  I believe this is the first pro-plaintiff decision since Kodak in 1992.

HT: Salil Mehra

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Employment Opportunity: Chief, New York Field Office, Department of Justice Antitrust Division

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Details are available here.

About the Office: The United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, is seeking to fill a Senior Executive Service (SES) vacancy in its New York Field Office. The Antitrust Division enforces Federal antitrust law, pursuing price-fixing and market allocation schemes, investigating mergers that may substantially reduce competition, and investigating other potentially anti-competitive conduct.

Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered: The incumbent serves as Chief of the New York Field Office, reporting to a Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He/she is responsible for organizing and directing the activities of a staff of attorneys, paralegals, clerical support and other specialists engaged in the investigation, preparation, and prosecution of cases under the Federal antitrust laws within the jurisdiction of the office. As appropriate, incumbent is also responsible for representing the Department in interagency groups.

Qualifications: Qualifications include both general management skills and characteristics that are applicable to all SES positions AND technical or program responsibilities specific to this position. Applicants must have substantive general experience that provides a good basic or general knowledge of the principles of organization, management and administration; and substantive specialized legal experience in both civil and criminal practice at the national and/or international level, including litigation and the management of associated investigation and litigation teams.

Experience with managing and handling civil and criminal antitrust matters in the United States is desirable.

You must submit a resume and a separate narrative statement/response that addresses each of the mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification factors related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

The Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications can assist you in writing an effective SES application. In particular, please note the Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model that is recommended and very helpful when drafting ECQ narrative responses. The Guide is available on OPM's Website at: http://www.opm.gov/ses/references/SES_Quals_Guide_2006.pdf.

Professional/Technical Requirements:

1) Experience investigating and litigating Federal or state civil and criminal matters at the national or international level;

2) Knowledge of and experience with domestic or international financial markets;

3) Knowledge of and experience interacting with Federal regulatory and investigative agencies;

4) Ability to establish and maintain relationships with the public and/or Federal officials involved in antitrust cases or related matters and with other regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission;

5) Ability to formulate and implement policies on all matters pertaining to assigned areas;

6) Ability to serve as a spokesperson for one's organization;

7) Applicant must have graduated from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Candidates will be evaluated on the professional/technical requirements identified above based on their total background, i.e., education, training, self-development, awards, outside activities, performance appraisal, as well as work history. If candidates are found to possess all technical requirements, they will then be evaluated based on the Executive Core Qualifications as established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and outlined below.

Executive/Managerial Requirements:

1) Leading Change: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

2) Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting an organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, supports employee diversity, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

3) Results Driven: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

4) Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

5) Building Coalitions: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Other Information:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.

  • The managerial qualifications of a selectee who is not a current or former career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before appointment. In addition, individuals entering the SES career service for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period.

  • If the selectee is not a current employee of the Offices, Boards, or Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice, he/she will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

Travel: Some travel required.

Salary Information:
Candidates are being solicited for the Senior Executive Service, with salaries up to $179,700, depending on current salary and experience.

Location: The position is located in New York, NY.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be authorized.

Deadline and Submission Process: Applications must be received no later than 11:59 pm on June 1, 2010. For consideration, applicants must submit:

(1) A resume that includes all professional work experience, education, training, special skills, accomplishments and awards. Your resume must demonstrate that you possess the professional/technical requirements for this position.

(2) A separate statement that addresses each ECQ and describes your managerial experience. While individuals who are current or former Career SES members (approved by OPM and have completed an initial probationary period) need not submit an Executive Core Qualifications statement, they are required to provide an SF-50 or SES certificate to demonstrate their current or prior service. Otherwise, the absence of ECQs will be identified as a failure to comply with the requirements of the vacancy. Applicants must meet qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

(3) Proof of bar membership.

(4) If you are a current or recent Federal employee, you must submit a copy of your latest Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) and a performance appraisal issued within the past 12 months, or if none exists, please include a statement to that effect.

To receive consideration, applicants must submit a separate supplementary statement addressing each of the Professional/Technical and Executive/Managerial Requirements listed above.

**Preference is to receive an application via e mail at
atr.personnel@usdoj.gov.

All applications (including mailed and faxed applications) MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2010.

Applications being mailed should be sent to:
Antitrust Division, Department of Justice
Personnel Staff
Attn: Lhatoya Reed
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Please allow additional time for delivery as all incoming mail must be processed at a remote facility prior to final delivery.

For additional information about this position, please contact:
Lhatoya K. Reed
Phone: (202) 305-8996
Fax: (202) 514-0580


May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Intellectual Property Laws vs. Anti Trust Laws

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Satabdee Mohanty, Gujarat National Law University and Tanay Nandi, National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) ponder the differences between Intellectual Property Laws vs. Anti Trust Laws.

ABSTRACT: Intellectual Property Laws and Anti-trust Laws have never really gotten together hand in hand. They both subscribe to two totally diametrically opposite views. It is however ironic to note that both these branches of our legal framework aim towards economic welfare. Given the importance of intellectual property in fostering economic progress, one might wonder whether our economies might progress even faster if intellectual property was more freely available for others to use and build upon – that is, treated more like a public good than private property. To answer this question, we must look into the very rationality as to why IP laws were given so much thought by our lawmakers. We must take into account that erosion of intellectual property rights would be extremely improvident. There is a strong unanimity today that a strong intellectual property regime is needed to provide the requisite motivation to undertake costly and risky investment in innovative activities.

It can be very expensive to conduct the research and development that is necessary to come up with new products and technologies, and there can be many failures before a successful innovation is achieved. There would be little inducement for firms to make such a risky investment in research and development if others could freely copy or use a successful innovation and prevent the inventor from substantiating well-earned rewards. Strong intellectual property rights are one of the most important means for providing those inducements.

Through this paper, the authors will try to emphasize upon the need for stronger IP Laws to foster more research and development in the important fields of science and technology and also try to prove why Intellectual Property must be kept outside the ambit of the new age Anti-Trust Laws.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Relationship between Competition Authorities and Sectoral Regulators: An International-Comparative Perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Maher Dabbah, Queen Mary - Law, discusses The Relationship between Competition Authorities and Sectoral Regulators: An International-Comparative Perspective.

ABSTRACT: The relationship between competition authorities and sectoral regulators is one of the most important, yet most difficult and controversial topics we have around. The debate that was started in the 1990s in particular on how the parameters in this relationship should be set has never been settled; in many respects, the debate has even become more heated.

The purpose behind this article is to shed some fresh light on the topic and to present an international-comparative perspective on this important relationship. Among the issues which the article considers are: the differences and similarities between the instruments of competition law and special sectoral regulation; areas of potential overlap and conflict between competition enforcement and access, economic, and technical regulation; situations of concurrency between competition authorities and sectoral regulators and the exact role a competition authority should perform in this context, be that an enforcement, a supervisory or an advocacy function; the different ‘options’ or ‘models’ which may be adopted by countries (and their competition authorities) when determining the question of sectoral regulation and the application of competition law in the sectors; and the role of government in sectoral regulation.

Specific reference is made throughout the article to detailed examples from practice taken from different regimes around the world, most notably: the USA, Australia, the UK and EU Member States. In doing so, the article seeks to place the topic in its proper (wider) context of institutional cultures, the socio-economic environment prevailing in countries and the public policy choices made by governments and public authorities (including competition authorities) more specifically.

The article concludes with a set of reflections and recommendations which hopefully would be useful in understanding the manner in which a competition authority should design its policy approach to the topic in order to respond effectively to changes in time and in the economic reality of the sectors.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Justice Stevens and Antitrust - Chicago School Missionary?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

George Priest (Yale Law) and a third year student who is the grandson of Ed Levi seem to think so.  See here.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Antitrust Censorship of Economic Protest

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Hillary Greene, University of Connecticut School of Law has posted the very good Antitrust Censorship of Economic Protest.

ABSTRACT: Antitrust law accepts the competitive marketplace, its operation, and its outcomes as an ideal. Society itself need not and does not. Although antitrust is not in the business of evaluating, for example, the “fairness” of prices, society can, and frequently does, properly concern itself with these issues. When dissatisfaction results, it may manifest itself in an expressive boycott: a form of social campaign wherein purchasers express their dissatisfaction by collectively refusing to buy. Antitrust should neither participate in nor censor such normative discourse. In this Article, I explain how antitrust law impedes this speech, argue why it should not, and provide a framework that accommodates both First Amendment and antitrust values.

The expressive boycotts this Article addresses are characterized by speech that is political yet also economically self-interested. The boycotts discussed involve scientists protesting research tool purveyors, doctors protesting pharmaceutical companies, and academics and librarians protesting for-profit publishers. The legal regimes that govern such undertakings, First Amendment and antitrust law, have proven inept in addressing this phenomenon, which lies at their intersection. I attribute their shortcomings to a combination of the First Amendment’s excessive reliance upon categorization and antitrust’s unduly narrow reliance on economic efficiency. I then craft a recommendation for handling these expressive boycotts that will help ensure that speech about the market can be as free as the market itself.

May 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New decade, new Government - Reflections in possible evolution of the UK's competition and consumer regimes

US Antitrust Law under an Obama Administration: One year on

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

You are invited to attend a CPD Seminar organised by the UCL Centre for Law and Economics on 

US Antitrust Law under an Obama Administration: One year on

Speakers: 
Professor Eleanor Fox, 
New York University School of Law  
Professor Andrew Gavil,
Howard University School of Law (TBC)
Professor Maurice Stucke, University of Tennessee College of Law
Professor Spencer Weber Waller, Institute of Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law  

Chair: 
Dr Ioannis Lianos, UCL Faculty of Laws 

Tuesday 1 June 2010, 4 - 6 pm
at UCL Faculty of Laws 
Accredited with 2 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB.

Fees:
Standard fee = £25
Free of charge for academics, the judiciary and students. 

For more information on the speakers and to book your place please click on the link below or go to: 
http://antitrust-obama.eventbrite.com/

 

You are invited to the following event:
US Antitrust Law under an Obama Administration: One year on

Date:
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (GMT)

Location:
UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens
WC1H 0EG London
United Kingdom

May 23, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)