Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, December 26, 2011

Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Quantity Discounts and Private Information

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Fabian Herweg (Department of Economics - University of Munich) & Daniel Muller (Department of Economics - University of Munich) discuss Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Quantity Discounts and Private Information.

ABSTRACT: We consider a monopolistic supplier’s optimal choice of wholesale tariffs when downstream firms are privately informed about their retail costs. Under discriminatory pricing, downstream firms that differ in their ex ante distribution of retail costs are offered different tariffs. Under uniform pricing, the same wholesale tariff is offered to all downstream firms. In contrast to the extant literature on thirddegree price discrimination with nonlinear wholesale tariffs, we find that banning discriminatory wholesale contracts—the usual legal practice in the EU and US— often is beneficial for social welfare. This result is shown to be robust even when the upstream supplier faces competition in the form of fringe supply.

December 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Does Merger Control Work? A Retrospective on U.S. Enforcement Actions and Merger Outcomes

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

John E. Kwoka, Northeastern University - Department of Economics and Daniel Greenfield, Northeastern University ask Does Merger Control Work? A Retrospective on U.S. Enforcement Actions and Merger Outcomes.

ABSTRACT: The accuracy and efficacy of merger control are important questions that have long posed challenges for policy evaluation. The growing number of merger retrospectives provide an opportunity to conduct such an analysis since they measure the outcomes of actual mergers. This paper compiles all available merger retrospectives that meet scholarly criteria, resulting in 48 mergers with measured price outcomes. It supplements this data base with information about the actions taken by U.S. antitrust agencies with respect to those particular mergers–whether they were cleared, or approved with remedies, or opposed. If remedies were imposed, conduct remedies are distinguished from structural remedies, since many observers view the latter as more likely effective. We find that the antitrust agencies cleared the studied mergers about as often as they imposed remedies, although the percent cleared has risen over time. We further find that most transactions resulted in increases in prices post-merger, suggesting a permissive antitrust posture. The price increases were considerably greater for mergers subject to conduct remedies than divestitures, corroborating doubt about the efficacy of conduct approaches. Finally, we find that the agencies cleared mergers without substantial price effects systematically and significantly more often than mergers resulting in large price increases. This suggests that agencies have been able to distinguish, on average, case deserving of approval from those raising the most serious competitive concerns.

December 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hong Kong's Competition Policy Advisory Group Annual Report for 2011 is Out

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Hong Kong's Competition Policy Advisory Group has produced its annual report for 2011.

December 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Recidivism in EU Antitrust Enforcement: A Legal and Economic Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Wouter P. J. Wils, European Commission, King's College London - School of Law has a very interesting article on Recidivism in EU Antitrust Enforcement: A Legal and Economic Analysis.

ABSTRACT: Recidivism has in the last few years attracted much attention and controversy in the context of EU antitrust enforcement. The treatment of recidivism by the European Commission and the EU Courts has often been criticized, and the observed incidence of recidivism has led to some questioning of the overall effectiveness of EU antitrust enforcement. This paper first clarifies the concept of recidivism and then analyses the treatment of recidivism as an aggravating circumstance in setting the amount of fines, the interplay between recidivism and leniency, and the difficulty of drawing conclusions as to the overall effectiveness of EU antitrust enforcement from the observed incidence of recidivism.

December 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

How Important are European, Canadian and Australian Law Journals (and Scholarship) to US Scholars? Not Much

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

I was curious to measure the importance of non-US journals (and the scholarship therein) in US law scholarship. My initial search suggests not much at all. I examined the Washington & Lee law journals ranking website and did a general search for most cited journals. The first non-US journal in terms of citation impact is the European Journal of International Law at ranking 102 (immediately ahead of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Delaware Journal of Corporate Law and Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy).

The top 10 most cited non-US journals (with overall rankings noted) are:

102 European Journal of International Law
237 International Journal of Constitutional Law
268 Journal of International Criminal Justice
283 International and Comparative Law Quarterly
302 Journal of International Economic Law
357 Journal of Competition Law and Economics
369 University of Toronto Law Journal
407 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
463 McGill Law Journal
469 The Modern Law Review

This suggests to me that US scholars and others who publish in US law reviews do not read non-US legal scholarship (some of which is westlaw searchable). Citations counts for economics and finance journals (none of which are westlaw searchable) are far higher than non-US law journals. Essentially, one might go for as to suggest that non-US law scholarship is for the most part irrelevant to US law scholarship, as measured by citation counts.

I thought to compare citation counts of Antitrust/Competition law journals with the overall list (ranking included- note that the US journals all have "antitrust" in the title):

127 Antitrust Law Journal
357 Journal of Competition Law and Economics
615 The Antitrust Source
648 The Antitrust Bulletin
663 Antitrust
804 World Competition: Law and Economics Review
862 European Competition Journal
873 International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
981 European Competition Law Review
1073 Competition & Consumer Law Journal
1306 Competition and Regulation in Network Industries
1306 Global Competition Litigation Review
1306 Journal of European Competition Law & Practice
1306 OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy

The most important trend is the growing irrelevance of the Antitrust Bulletin. This journal has been around for generations and has produced a number of important articles that have stood the test of time and many articles that are very good. However, for reasons beyond me, the publishers still do not include the journal on westlaw for it to be included in westlaw searches, do not allow drafts to be posted on SSRN, nor do they even have a website for the journal. THIS IS KILLING OFF THE ANTITRUST BULLETIN and will impact its ability to get good articles going forward. I do not know who all of the editors of the Antitrust Bulletin are but if you care about your journal, get the publisher to make the journal westlaw searchable.

Another interesting finding is the rapid success of the Journal of Competition Law and Economics. This journal has only been in existence since 2005 but already it has a higher ranking than many established flagship and specialty law reviews and (perhaps surprisingly) top UK journals like the Oxford Review of Legal Studies and Modern Law Review and the top Canadian law review the University of Toronto Law Journal. This speaks highly of the the JCLE co-editors Greg Sidak and Damien Geradin and their ability to pick some good articles that will have an impact.

The Antitrust Law Journal continues to do a very good job - kudos to Tina Miller and Tammy Feldman. Clustered around the Antitrust Law Journal are both main law reviews and strong speciality journals (Berkeley Journal of International Law, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Texas International Law Journal, University of Miami Law Review). The editing is of high quality and the topics tend to be very cutting edge. The Journal tends to have quite a few symposia. I am not sure how this impacts citation count, although I suspect it slows down production because you are constantly waiting on the late contributors.

For the new year (2012), I will organize a symposium of antitrust/competition law faculty from around the world to discuss publication strategies.

December 25, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Best Antitrust Articles of 2011 - From Our Group of Experts

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Best Antitrust Articles of 2011

  • Roger Blair (University of Florida – Economics) – Louis Kaplow, Why Ever Define Markets, 124 Harvard Law Review 437 (2010)*
  • Alberto Heimler (Italian School of Government - Econ) – Louis Kaplow, An Economic Approach to Price Fixing, 77 Antitrust Law Journal, 343 (2011)
  • Max Huffman (Indiana University Law) - Alan Devlin, Antitrust as Regulation, San Diego Law Review
  • Louis Kaplow (Harvard Law) – Louis Kaplow, On the Meaning of Horizontal Agreements in Competition Law, 99 California Law Review 683 (2011); Louis Kaplow, An Economic Approach to Price Fixing, 77 Antitrust Law Journal, 343 (2011)
  • Bob Lande (University of Baltimore Law) - Louis Kaplow, Why Ever Define Markets, 124 Harvard Law Review 437 (2010)*
  • Salil Mehra (Temple Law) – Daniel Crane, The Institutional Structure of Antitrust Enforcement (Oxford University Press 2011)
  • Barak Orbach (University of Arizona – Law) - Louis Kaplow, On the Meaning of Horizontal Agreements in Competition Law, 99 California Law Review 683 (2011); Louis Kaplow, An Economic Approach to Price Fixing, 77 Antitrust Law Journal, 343 (2011)
  • Barak Richman (Duke Law) - The AAI Special Symposium volume of the Oregon Law Review dedicated to antitrust policy (http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/~antitrust/content/11th-annual-conference-symposium-issue-oregon-law-review-volume-89-number-3-2011)
  • Danny Sokol (University of Florida – Law) - Joseph Harrington, Jr. and Andrzej Skrzypacz, Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices, 101 American Economic Review 1 (2011); Louis Kaplow, An Economic Approach to Price Fixing, 77 Antitrust Law Journal, 343 (2011)
  • Andreas Stephan (University of East Anglia - Law) - Caron Beaton-Wells and Ariel Ezrachi editors, Criminalising Cartels: Critical Studies of an International Regulatory Movement (Hart 2011)
  • Maurice Stucke (University of Tennessee Law) - Jesse W. Markham, Jr., Lessons for Competition Law from the Economic Crisis: The Prospect for Antitrust Responses to the “Too-Big-To-Fail” Phenomenon, 16 Fordham Journal of Corporate Law and Finance 261 (2011); Thomas J. Horton, The Coming Extinction of Homo Economicus and the Eclipse of the Chicago School of Antitrust: Applying Evolutionary Biology to Structural and Behavioral Antitrust Analyses, 42 Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 469 (2011).
  • Spencer Waller (Chicago Loyola Law) – Maurice Stucke & Amanda Reeves, Behavioral Antitrust, 86 Indiana Law Journal 1527 (2011)

* Came out in December 2010 and therefore missed last year’s cut-off


December 25, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)