Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Using Rival Effects to Identify Synergies and Improve Merger Typologies

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Joseph A. Clougherty and Tomaso Duso (WZB) discuss Using Rival Effects to Identify Synergies and Improve Merger Typologies.

ABSTRACT: The strategic management literature has found it difficult to differentiate between collusive and efficiency-based synergies in horizontal merger activity. We propose a schematic to classify mergers that yields more information on merger types and merger effects, and that can, moreover, distinguish between mergers characterized largely by collusion-based synergies and mergers characterized largely by effi-ciency-based synergies. Crucial to the proposed measurement procedure is that it encompasses the impact of merger events not only on merging firms – as is custom – but also on non-merging competitor firms (the rivals). Employing the event-study methodology with stock-market data on samples of large horizontal mergers drawn from the US and UK (an Anglo-Saxon sub-sample) and from the European continent, we demonstrate how the proposed schematic can better clarify the nature of merger activity.

November 30, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Merger Enforcement in Two-Sided Markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Przemyslaw Jeziorski, Johns Hopkins University - Department of Economics explores Merger Enforcement in Two-Sided Markets.

ABSTRACT: This paper studies mergers in two-sided markets by estimating a structural supply and demand model and performing counter-factual experiments. The analysis is performed on data for a merger wave in U.S. radio that occurred between 1996 and 2006. The paper makes two main contributions. First, I identify the conflicting incentives of merged firms to exercise market power on both sides of the market (listeners and advertisers in the case of radio). Second, I dis-aggregate the effects of mergers on consumers into changes in product variety and changes in supplied ad quantity. I find that firms have moderate market power over listeners in all markets, extensive market power over advertisers in small markets and no market power over advertisers in large markets. Counter-factuals reveal that extra product variety created by post-merger repositioning increased listeners’ welfare by 1.3% and decreased advertisers’ welfare by about $160m per-year. However, subsequent changes in supplied ad quantity decreased listener welfare by 0.4% (for a total impact of 0.9%) and advertiser welfare by an additional $140m (for a total impact of -$300m).

November 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook: Observations on Antitrust and the High-Tech Sector

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Tom Rosch (FTC) has posted his speech on Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook: Observations on Antitrust and the High-Tech Sector.

ABSTRACT: First, I will discuss the arguments against the Commission challenging mergers and conduct in the high-tech sphere. Second, I will discuss some considerations that I believe should inform the Commission’s analysis when it does decide to litigate a case in the high-tech sphere.

November 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Taking the Temperature: A Survey of the EU Law on Competition and State Aid in the Healthcare Sector

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Wolf Sauter, Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC), Dutch Healthcare Authority and Johan van de Gronden, Radboud University Nijmegen explain Taking the Temperature: A Survey of the EU Law on Competition and State Aid in the Healthcare Sector.

ABSTRACT: As the healthcare sector grows in significance due to social and technical developments the EU competition rules are likely to be more frequently applied to healthcare both as a result of the broad interpretation of the concept of undertaking and because the applicable antitrust rules are since modernisation also applied at Member State level. At the same time there is so far little guidance regarding the manner in which the substantive rules must be applied. This problem is less serious concerning state aid where the beginnings of a framework exist, in particular in the form of the Altmark test and the services of general economic interest (SGEI) concept, and where enforcement remains largely centralised in the hands of the Commission. We plead for a broader application of SGEI and of the legitimate objective test that is found in Wouters and Meca-Medina. In particular we advocate providing guidance by means of a soft law approach within the European competition network (ECN).

November 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Intel and Microsoft Settlements

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Bob Lande (Baltimore - Law) discusses The Intel and Microsoft Settlements.

ABSTRACT: This article briefly compares and contrasts the recent U.S. Federal Trade Commission's antitrust settlement with Intel, and the antitrust cases brought against Microsoft. The article praises the FTC's settlement with Intel, and predicts that history will judge it very favorably compared to the settlement by the U.S. Department of Justice of its antitrust case against Microsoft.

November 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Between Economic Freedom and Effective Competition Enforcement: The Impact of the Antitrust Remedies Provided by the Modernisation Regulation on Investigated Parties’ Freedom to Contract and to Enjoy Property

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Arianna Andreangeli, University of Liverpool - Law has posted Between Economic Freedom and Effective Competition Enforcement: The Impact of the Antitrust Remedies Provided by the Modernisation Regulation on Investigated Parties’ Freedom to Contract and to Enjoy Property.

ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to analyse the issues emerging from the imposition of certain antitrust remedies, such as the obligation to grant intellectual property licenses regarding key inventions covered by patent or copyright and to stipulate contracts with other firms, including competitors, as a means to remedy the consequences of antitrust infringements. It will consider the extent to which Article 7 remedies can be reconciled with other important tenets of the market economy, such as the freedom to contract and the right to peacefully enjoy one’s possessions. After briefly examining the rationale for the application of certain human rights’ guarantees to competition investigations and decisions, the first part of the paper will consider the questions of whether and to what extent the European Convention on Human Rights protects economic freedom and compare the current position with that adopted by the US Supreme Court. The second part will illustrate the notion of competition remedies and consider whether the principles governing them are compatible with current human rights standards as well as with the concept of the rule of law as a tool to protect ‘everyone’ from the arbitrary or disproportionate use of public power. The final part of the paper will argue that although antitrust remedies pursue a legitimate objective, i.e. the preservation of economic well-being through competitive markets, they must also comply with basic human rights safeguards, such as the protection of property and of freedom to contract, by striking a “fair balance” between the common good and the legitimate interests of the affected undertakings. It will be concluded that the practice in this area should conform to standards consistent with the principles enshrined in the ECHR and to the substantive concept of ‘rule of law’, i.e. accuracy, administrability, consistency, objectivity, applicability and transparency.

November 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ICN December 2010 Unilateral Conduct Workshop

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

This website is designed to provide information and materials to workshop participants for the ICN’s Unilateral Conduct Workshop on December 2 and 3 in Brussels, Belgium.  The following links will provide more information on the workshop program, logistics, and travel information.  On behalf of our host, the European Commission, and the Unilateral Conduct Working Group, we look forward to your attendance and participation in the workshop. 

 November 22 Webinar - Presentation of the Hypothetical Case Studies

Click here for the Loyatly Discount slide deck

Click here for the Margin Squeeze slide deck

Workshop Information and Materials

 

Brussels Information

  • Hotel Information - Each participant is responsible for his or her own hotel accommodations.  For a brief description and list of hotels in close proximity to the conference center, click here.   More information can be obtained from the official Brussels tourism office.
  • Visa Information  - It is the responsibility of workshop delegates to determine if a visa to enter Belgium is required by contacting the Belgium Embassy/Consulate in their jurisdiction. 
  • Belgium’s Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation provides visa information, including applications and handling fees.  The following URL should be used for reference purposes only:  http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travel_to_belgium/

 Travel Information

  •  All major airlines and numerous regional airlines serve the Brussels airport.  For a list of airlines, click here
  • Regular train and bus services access the airport.  Depending on your hotel, there may be a hotel airport shuttle.  Taxi services are also available.  To access train and bus schedules and routes, click here

Please contact the workshop host (COMP-ICN-EVENTS@ec.europa.eu) with questions on logistics. (Please include a reference to “HT.2451” in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Limited funding may be available for those requiring assistance with travel expenses.  To request funding you must complete a written funding request.  Please contact the ICN Secretariat (ICN.Secretariat@cb-bc.gc.ca) for more details.

November 28, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)