Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Emergence of Global Search Engines: Trends in History and Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Manish Agarwal & David Round (Univ. of South Australia) present Emergence of Global Search Engines: Trends in History and Competition.

ABSTRACT: The web search market is an example of a two-sided market where internet users account for one side and the advertisers for the other. Given the increased regulatory scrutiny faced by the web search market, this paper uses the two-sided market framework to analyze the market structure and the behavioral trends on both sides of the market in order to assess the state of competition in this market. Section 2 traces the evolution of the web search engines. Section 3 presents the two-sided market framework and examines trends on both sides of the web search market. Section 4 concludes.

June 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

European Commission consults on quantifying harm in EU antitrust actions - deadline: September 30, 2011

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

According to an email i just received from Connor Maguire:

On Friday June 17, the European Commission launched a public consultation on a draft Guidance paper on quantifying harm in actions for damages for breaches of the EU antitrust rules.

Among others, the non-binding Guidance aims to:

  • Provide European national courts and opposing parties with economic and practical insights into the methods and techniques that can be used to quantify damages.
  • Present the main methods and techniques currently available to quantify harm stemming from violation of the EU antitrust rules.
  • Alleviate one of the current obstacles to a more effective system of civil compensation for victims of EU antitrust infringements.

Following the European Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-360/09 Pfleiderer AG v Bundeskartellamt delivered on June 14, practitioners’ on both sides of the Atlantic should be interested in understanding how the Guidance, while independent of any future EU legislation on collective redress, will help achieve the common goal of maximising the effectiveness of the basic EU law right to compensation for infringements of the EU antitrust rules.    

The public consultation website can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2011_actions_damages/index_en.html

 Deadline for comments: Friday, September 30, 2011.

June 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ofcom's Approach and Priorities for Consumer Protection and Empowerment

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Andrea Coscelli & Claudio Pollack (Ofcom) describe Ofcom's Approach and Priorities for Consumer Protection and Empowerment.

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses Ofcom's current activities related to consumer protection and empowerment. It describes our approach and framework for analysis, and goes on to examine those areas we currently treat as our top priorities. We do so by exploring the following questions:

What is the role of consumer policy? What do we mean by consumer protection and empowerment? What issues have given rise to concerns in our recent experience? What tools do we have to improve consumer outcomes, taking account of the impact of market mechanisms and the role of incentives? What is the evidence of the effectiveness of our approach to date?

We also briefly discuss our proposed intervention against the sale of automatically renewable contracts to purchasers of fixed voice and fixed broadband services. Our protection and empowerment work complements our competition work as it addresses areas where markets without dominant providers are not functioning perfectly for consumers in terms of their ability to compare and switch providerseasily as well as to negotiate, understand, and enforce contracts. As the OFT states "markets work well when there are efficient interactions on both the demand (consumer) and supply (firm) side. On the demand side, confident consumers activate competition by making well-informed and well-reasoned decisions which reward those firms which best satisfy their needs." In addition to our powers using regulations and our work with industry, we also discuss the scope for incorporating greater use of comparative information and behavioral economics to improve market outcomes and reduce consumer harm.

June 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What Antitrust Law Can (and Cannot) Teach About the First Sale Doctrine

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ariel Katz, University of Toronto - Faculty of Law suggests What Antitrust Law Can (and Cannot) Teach About the First Sale Doctrine.

ABSTRACT:The first sale doctrine (or exhaustion) limits the exclusive rights that survive the initial authorized sale of an item protected by such rights. The first sale doctrine has always been under pressure by owners of intellectual property rights, and courts have never been able to precisely outline its contours, or fully articulate its rationale. Recently, and somewhat counter-intuitively, insights borrowed from modern antitrust law and economics are invoked to provide a seemingly robust theoretical foundation for undermining exhaustion rules or narrowing their scope, and thereby strengthen IP owners’ control over downstream distribution and use of the goods they produce.

This article shows why this trend is misguided and agues that it should be resisted, not because the insights from modern antitrust are irrelevant, quite the contrary. Indeed, the insights from modern antitrust law and economics can help underpin some of the first sale doctrine’s missing theoretical foundations and help drawing its proper contours. However, as this article demonstrates, the insights from modern antitrust do not support the case against the first sale doctrine. When taken seriously, these insights ultimately support its continued vitality.

June 20, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS: Current Research in Competition Law XVIIIth Competition Law Scholars Forum (CLaSF) Workshop - Thursday September 22nd 2011

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

CALL FOR PAPERS
Current Research in Competition Law
XVIIIth Competition Law Scholars Forum (CLaSF) Workshop
www.clasf.org
Thursday September 22nd 2011 City Law School, City University, Grays Inn, London

The Competition Law Scholars Forum (CLaSF) will be running a workshop on 22nd September 2011. The subject of the workshop will be the broad theme of Current Research in Competition Law. We invite applications from researchers in competition law covering the whole field but focussing on recent research projects they have been involved with over the last couple of years; projects with regulatory agencies; projects with think tanks or law & economics projects. We would be particularly interested in research aspects of competition law where there is a comparative aspect or based on the interplay between law and politics, and the workshop would hope to discuss a broad range of research issues, whether empirical or otherwise, such as merger remedies, cartel procedures, the role of behavioural economics in competition law etc. We also welcome applications by law firms or regulatory agencies where research has been undertaken in a competition law field. Papers are invited from scholars, regulators and practitioners on any of these issues or other topics which fall generally within the broad theme of Current Research in Competition Law. Any person interested in presenting a paper at the workshop is asked to contact the Chair of CLaSF, Professor Alan Riley at [email protected].

In the first instance an abstract is required of approximately 500-1000 words, a draft paper is also required a week prior to the workshop. Please submit your abstract by Friday 15th July. Papers presented at the workshop can be submitted to the Competition Law Review editorial board with a view to being published in the Review. Note that the Review is a fully refereed scholarly law journal: Submission does not guarantee publication.

June 19, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)