Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tribunal may determine competition jurisprudence

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Rahul Singh (National Law School India - Bangalore) has an op-ed in Mint (Indian Wall Street Journal affiliate) on how the Tribunal may determine competition jurisprudence.

August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION TO HOLD

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

From the press release:

The Department of Justice and the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that they will hold a joint public workshop on  most-favored-nation clauses (MFNs) on Sept.10, 2012, to explore the use of MFN clauses and the implications  for antitrust enforcement and policy. 

The most commonly used MFN  provisions guarantee a customer that it will receive prices that are at least  as favorable as those provided to other buyers of the same seller, for the same  products or services.  Although at times employed for benign  purposes, MFNs can under certain circumstances present competitive  concerns.  This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant  buyer of intermediate goods, raise other buyers’ costs or foreclose would-be  competitors from accessing the market.  Additionally,  MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.

The workshop will offer an  opportunity for businesses, academics, economists, lawyers and other interested  parties to consider the use of MFNs and the legal and economic analyses of  these provisions.  The workshop will  consist of a series of panels examining, among other topics, the legal  treatment of MFNs, economic theories concerning MFNs and why they are used, and  industry experiences with MFNs.   Panelists for the workshop will include private attorneys, economists  and industry representatives.

The Department of Justice and the  FTC are interested in receiving comments on MFNs, and will accept written  submissions from the public before the workshop and until Oct.10, 2012, 30 days  after the event.  Interested parties may  submit public comments to ATR.LPS-MFNPublicWorkshop@usdoj.gov.  Submitted comments will be made publicly  available on the Department of Justice and FTC websites.

The all-day workshop is free and  open to the public.  Individuals are  encouraged, but not required, to register in advance for the workshop by  sending an email to ATR.LPS-MFNWorkshopRSVP@usdoj.gov.  Please include “RSVP” in the subject  line.  Seating will be on a first-come,  first-serve basis. 

The workshop will take place at the  FTC's satellite conference center at 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC from  9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 10, 2012.   It will include the following panels and presentations:

Economic  Theories of MFNs: Harms and Efficiencies

Presenters
      Jonathan  Baker, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
      Judith A. Chevalier, William  S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics, Yale
           School of Management

Moderators
      Robert  Majure, Economics Director of Enforcement, Antitrust Division, U.S.
           Department of Justice
      Daniel  O’Brien, Senior Economic Policy Advisor,  Federal Trade Commission

Empirical Evidence on Effects of MFNs

Presenter
      Ramsey  Shehadah, Senior Vice President, NERA Consulting

Panel 
      Jonathan  Baker, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
      Judith A. Chevalier, William  S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics, Yale
           School  of Management
      Ramsey  Shehadah, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting

Moderators
      Robert  Majure, Economics Director of Enforcement, Antitrust Division, U.S.
           Department of Justice
      Daniel  O’Brien, Senior Economic Policy Advisor,  Federal Trade Commission   

Legal Treatment of MFNs

Panel
      Doug  Anderson, Of Counsel, Bailey Cavalieri LLC
      Andrew I.  Gavil, Incoming Director, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade
           Commission
      Elai Katz,  Partner, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP
      Janet L.  McDavid, Partner, Hogan Lovells

Moderator
      Peter J.  Levitas, Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission

Lunchtime SpeechNelson  Jung, Director, Markets and Projects, U.K. Office of Fair Trading

MFNs: From Theory to the Real World

Panel
      W. Thomas  McGough Jr., Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, University of 
           Pittsburgh Medical Center
      Murray N. Ross,  Ph.D., Vice President & Director, Institute of Health Policy, Kaiser 
           Permanente
      Melissa A. Scanlan, Director, Legal  Affairs, T-Mobile USA, Inc
      John  Thorne, Partner, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC           
      Mark D.  Whitener, Senior Counsel, General Electric Co.

Moderator
      Martha S.  Samuelson, President & CEO, Analysis Group Inc.

Moving Forward – How Has Thinking about MFNs Evolved and Where Might It  Go?

Panel
      David I.  Gelfand, Partner, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP
      Jonathan M. Jacobson, Partner,  Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
      Joseph  Kattan, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
      Steven C.  Salop, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Moderator
      Renata  Hesse, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Enforcement, Antitrust
           Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Directions to the FTC’s Conference Center are available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/transportationguide.shtml.

Reasonable accommodations for people with  disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via email  to skonstandt@ftc.gov or by calling Samantha Konstandt at 202-326-3348. Requests should be made in  advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed, and  provide contact information.

August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 17, 2012

VIRAL OPEN SOURCE: COMPETITION VS. SYNERGY

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Michal S. Gal (Haifa) has published VIRAL OPEN SOURCE: COMPETITION VS. SYNERGY.

ABSTRACT: The creation of free and open source software (FOSS) through social networks has been celebrated as one of the most interesting and inspiring developments of the information age. The main legal platform selected for facilitating this collaborative creation is the GNU General Public License (GPL). Software released under the GPL enables anyone to use, modify, and distribute the code. Yet, these rights are contingent upon virality: every copy or work based on the original code must also be subject to such terms and conditions. This article analyzes the interesting and intricate effects of virality on welfare and innovation. Virality increases motivations for parallel innovation, both in open source and in commercial code, inter alia by facilitating competition among networks and by preventing commercial firms from appropriating FOSS. At the same time, by almost closing the door on synergies between FOSS and commercial technologies, it limits cumulative innovation based on synergy and interoperability. As shown, FOSS creates an even stronger anti-commons tragedy than the patent regime. Virality's (non)regulation will thus determine the balance, as well as the connecting bridges, adopted by society between the two modes of production as well as between competition and synergy. While this issue arises in other contexts, the unique features of the software industry and of FOSS raise complex challenges. This article then analyzes market and legal responses to the GPL's virality. Such analysis is timely given that the viral GPL has become standard in many socially produced FOSS projects.

August 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

EU Competition Law: Merger Control

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stefan Tako Vermeulen have published EU Competition Law: Merger Control.

ABSTRACT: This interactive iBook provides all relevant up-to-date texts on Merger Control in the European Union. The book features in-text clickable references to European Commission Decisions, Cases of the Courts and other external documents. EU Competition Law: Merger Control gives lawyers, practitioners, economists, students and competition authority staff easy access to all currently applicable legislation and guidance documents on competition merger control, as published by the European Commission. A sample is available through iTunes.

August 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Exclusivity in High-Tech Industries: Evidence from the French Case

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Patrice Bougette University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis - Law, Economics, and Management Research Group (GREDEG CNRS); LAMETA CNRS, Frederic M Marty, Research Group on Law, Economics and Management (UMR CNRS 7321 GREDEG), Julien Pillot, Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion (GREDEG) and Patrice Reis, Law, Economics, and Management Research Group address Exclusivity in High-Tech Industries: Evidence from the French Case.

ABSTRACT: The iPhone exclusivity deal illustrates the complex issue of exclusive arrangements in high-tech industries. Previous law cases on broadcasting right restrictions also highlighted the risk of anticompetitive foreclosure through such contractual clauses. This paper questions the French competition authorities’ decisions in the light of economic analysis. If such exclusive agreements foster incentives to invest and innovate, they may also be considered as exclusionary practices.

August 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Price dispersion, search costs and consumers and sellers heterogeneity in retail food markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Giovanni Anania (University of Calabria, Italy) and Rosanna Nistico (University of Calabria, Italy) discuss Price dispersion, search costs and consumers and sellers heterogeneity in retail food markets.

ABSTRACT: Price dispersion, i.e. a homogeneous product being sold at different prices by different sellers, is among the most replicated findings in empirical economics. The paper assesses the extent and determinants of spatial price dispersion for 14 perfectly homogeneous food products in more than 400 retailers in a market characterized by the persistence of a large number of relatively small traditional food stores, side by side large supermarkets. The extent of observed price dispersion is quite high, suggesting that monopolistic competition prevails as a result of the heterogeneity of consumers and services offered. When prices in an urban area (where the spatial concentration of sellers is much higher and consumer search costs significantly lower) are compared with those in smaller towns and rural areas, differences in search costs and the potentially higher degree of competition do not yield lower prices; quite the contrary, they are, on average, higher in the urban area for 11 of the 14 products considered. Supermarkets proved to be often, but not always, less expensive than traditional retailers, although average savings from food shopping at supermarkets were extremely low. Finally, the results of the study suggest that retailers have different pricing strategies; these differences emerge both at the firm level and for supermarkets within the same chain. The results presented in the paper suggest that what is important in explaining price dispersion is the contemporaneous heterogeneity of retailers (in terms of services) and consumers (in terms of search and shopping preferences), which makes it possible for a monopolistic competition structure of the market to emerge and for small traditional food retailers to remain in business.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An empirical assessment of the 2004 EU merger policy reform

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Tomaso Duso- Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, Heinrich-Heine University, Klaus Gugler-Vienna University of Economics and Business and Florian Szucs- Vienna University of Economics and Business offer An empirical assessment of the 2004 EU merger policy reform.

ABSTRACT: We propose a general framework to assess merger policy effectiveness based on standard oligopoly theory and stock market reactions. We focus on four different dimensions of effectiveness: 1) legal certainty, 2) decision errors, 3) reversion of anti-competitive rents, and 4) deterrence. We apply this framework to 368 merger cases scrutinized by the European Commission (EC) between 1990 and 2007. To evaluate the economic impact of the change in European merger legislation, we compare the results of the four tests before and after its introduction in 2004. Our results suggest that the ’more economic approach’ resulted in improved ex-ante predictability of decisions and a reduction of the frequency of type I errors. Merger policy enforcement deters anti-competitive mergers without over-deterring pro-competitive transactions. Yet, the policy shift away from prohibitions, which are effective as a policy tool and as a deterrent mechanism, does not seem to be well-grounded.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

R&D Competition in an Asymmetric Cournot Duopoly: The Welfare Effects of Catch-Up by the Laggard Firm

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ben Ferrett (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK) has posted R&D Competition in an Asymmetric Cournot Duopoly: The Welfare Effects of Catch-Up by the Laggard Firm.

ABSTRACT: The substantial within-industry variation in firm productivity typically observed in the data suggests that there is ample scope for catch-up by laggard firms. We analyse the normative effects of such catch-up. In the short run, where firms’ process technologies are fixed, catch-up can reduce social welfare if the initial unit-cost gap between firms is sufficiently large (the Lahiri/Ono effect). However, in the long run, where firms invest in process R&D to maximize profits, social welfare jumps upwards following catch-up if it causes the major firm’s R&D spending lead to grow. Both qualitative insights appear quite general.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Horizontal Agreements and R&D Complementarities: Merger versus RJV

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ben Ferrett (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK) and Joanna Poyago-Theotoky (School of Economics, La Trobe University, Australia) describe Horizontal Agreements and R&D Complementarities: Merger versus RJV.

ABSTRACT: We study the decision of two firms within an oligopoly concerning whether to enter into a horizontal agreement to exploit complementarities between their R&D activities and, if so, whether to merge or form a research joint venture (RJV). In contrast to horizontal merger, there is a probability that an RJV contract will fail to enforce R&D sharing. We find, first, that a horizontal agreement always arises. The insiders’ merger/RJV choice involves a trade-off. While merger offers certainty that R&D complementarities will be exploited, it leads to a profit-reducing reaction by outsiders on the product market, where competition is Cournot. Greater brand similarity and contract enforceability (“quality”) both favour RJV, while greater R&D complementarity favours merger. Interestingly, the insiders may choose to merge even when RJV contracts are always enforceable, and they may opt to form an RJV even whe! n the likelihood of enforceability is negligible.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coerced Reciprocal Dealing and the Leverage Theory

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kalyn Coatney, Mississippi State University and Sherrill Shaffer, University of Wyoming Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA), ANU discuss Coerced Reciprocal Dealing and the Leverage Theory.

ABSTRACT: Recent international mergers have potentially revived interest in a long-standing concern of U.S. courts that, under certain conditions, a conglomerate that buys from and sells products to its intermediary supplier may be able to profitably leverage its downstream market power to restrict competition in the upstream market and harm welfare via coerced reciprocal dealing. Economists have debated the court precedent, invoking the leverage theory established from various models of tying arrangements, a cousin of coerced reciprocal dealing. We develop the first explicit model of coerced reciprocal dealings to investigate the validity of the leverage theory. Our results support the concerns.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Multimarket Contact, Bundling and Collusive Behavior

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Juan-Pablo Montero and Esperanza Johnson (both Catholic University of Chile) explore Multimarket Contact, Bundling and Collusive Behavior.

ABSTRACT: We study the static and dynamic implications of non-linear pricing schemes (i.e., bundling) for otherwise unrelated products but for multimarket contact. Bundling is always present in competition but unlikely in a cartel agreement. Although it brings extra profits to the cartel –sometimes charging a premium rather than a discount for the bundle–, bundling makes deviation from the agreement far more attractive. Depending on the correlation of consumers’ preferences, this deviation effect is either reinforced with milder punishments (for positive correlations) or partially offset with harsher punishments (for negative correlations). The deviation effect is so strong that it even dominates a zero-profit (pure-bundling) punishment.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rationales For and Against Regulatory Involvement in Resolving Internet Interconnection Disputes

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Rob Frieden (Penn State) has published Rationales For and Against Regulatory Involvement in Resolving Internet Interconnection Disputes.

ABSTRACT: This Article will examine the terms and conditions under which Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) switch and route traffic for each of several links between a source of content and consumers. The Article concludes that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) may lack direct statutory authority even to resolve disputes based on its determination that Internet access constitutes an unregulated information service. Additionally the FCC may appropriately forebear from regulating, because sufficient competition favors industry self-regulation. Despite substantial reasons not to intervene, the FCC nevertheless might have to clarify its understanding of what subscribers of retail ISP services can expect to receive. Under truth in billing and other consumer safeguards the Commission might require ISPs to explain what an Internet subscription guarantees not only in terms of transmission speed and downloading capacity, but also what subscribers can expect their ISPs to do when receiving content requiring downstream termination. The Article concludes that both customers of content services, such as Netflix, and retail ISP subscribers expect their service providers to guarantee delivery of movies and all sorts of Internet traffic respectively. For physical delivery of DVDs Netflix must pay the U.S. Postal Service and for delivery of streaming bits Netflix must pay one or more ISPs. But for Internet traffic involving two or more ISPs, the Article examines whether other retail ISPs providing last mile delivery of content violate their service commitments to subscribers by demanding additional payment from upstream carriers.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

On the Welfare Effects of Exclusive Distribution Arrangements

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jurgen Eichberger and Frank Mueller-Langer, both University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law provide thoughts On the Welfare Effects of Exclusive Distribution Arrangements.

ABSTRACT:The regulation of vertical relationships between firms is the subject of persistent legal and academic controversy. The literature studying vertical trade relationships seems to assume that an upstream monopolist prefers downstream competition over exclusive distribution arrangements. We derive precise conditions for when an upstream monopolist prefers competing distribution systems over exclusive distribution in the downstream market. We also show that the welfare effects of downstream competition are ambiguous. A downstream oligopoly may have negative welfare properties compared to a downstream monopoly.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Launching prices for new pharmaceuticals in heavily regulated and subsidized markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jaume Puig (U. Pompeu Fabra) and Beatriz Gonzalez Lopez-Valcarcel (U. de las Palmas de GC) analyze Launching prices for new pharmaceuticals in heavily regulated and subsidized markets.

ABSTRACT: This paper provides empirical evidence on the explanatory factors affecting introductory prices of new pharmaceuticals in a heavily regulated and highly subsidized market. We collect a data set consisting of all new chemical entities launched in Spain between 1997 and 2005, and model launching prices. We found that, unlike in the US and Sweden, therapeutically "innovative" products are not overpriced relative to "imitative" ones. Price setting is mainly used as a mechanism to adjust for inflation independently of the degree of innovation. The drugs that enter through the centralized EMA approval procedure are overpriced, which may be a consequence of market globalization and international price setting.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hiring: Antitrust In-House Position at United Airlines

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

United Airlines is looking for an antitrust lawyer to join its in-house team. The Chicago-based position requires at least five years of full-time antitrust experience. Large firm and agency experience are both highly valued. Responsibilities will include assisting in management of global antitrust compliance and counseling a wide variety of business partners. If interested, please apply at the Careers section of United's website: www.united.com.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fordham Competition Law Institute 39th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy:

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Fordham 39th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy: 
Thursday, September 20 & Friday,  September 21, 2012.

The conference will be held at McNally Amphitheater, Fordham Law School, located at 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY.

Each year, a full two-day program focuses on a wide range of issues related to antitrust policy and enforcement. Leaders in the field, representing competition authorities, the judiciary, private practice and the academia, regularly contribute to the success of the conference as speakers and discussants.

The conference attracts close to 400 participants, including competition authorities from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin/South America and North America, as well as practitioners and academics.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

THURSDAY

8:30
Breakfast & Registration

9:00
Introduction
Barry E. Hawk
Director, Fordham Competition Law Institute, New York

Antitrust Policy and the FTC
Jonathan D.  Leibowitz
Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, Washington

EU Competition Policy
Joaquin Almunia
Commissioner for Competition, EU Commission, Brussels

Panel Discussion
A. Paul Victor --- Presider, Winston & Strawn, New York
Ray V. Hartwell III, Hunton & Williams, Washington
Ulrich Schnelle, Haver & Mailander, Stuttgart

    
11:00
Specialized Antitrust Courts

Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg
Chief Judge, U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, Washington
  
Hon. Peter Roth,
Justice of the High Court of England and Wales
Chairman of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal

Panel Discussion
Hon. Frederic Jenny, Presider, Cour de cassation, Paris
Frank  Montag, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels
Daniel S. Savrin, Bingham McCutchen, Boston

1:00
Lunch

2:30
Market Definition in Antitrust
Louis Kaplow
Harvard Law School, Cambridge

Kai-uwe Kuhn
Chief Economist, DG Competition, EU Commission, Brussels

Gregory Werden
Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, Washington
  
Panel Discussion
Ilene K. Gotts --- Presider, Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz,  New York
Bruno Lasserre, President, Autorite de la concurrence, Paris
Ramsey Shehadeh, NERA, New York
Gerwin Van Gerven, Linklaters, Brussels
 
6:00
Reception

------------------------------------------------------------------------

FRIDAY

8:30
Breakfast & Registration
 
9:00
Innovation and Competition
Alexander Italianer
Director-General for Competition, EU Commission, Brussels

Panel Discussion
Ronan P. Harty --- Presider, Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York  
Michael Reynolds, Allen & Overy, Brussels
Philippe Rincazaux, Orrick Rambaud Martel, Paris

Antitrust  Developments in India and Mexico
S.N. Dhingra
Competition Commission of India, New Delhi

Eduardo Perez Motta
President, Comision Federal de Competencia, Mexico City

Panel Discussion
Michael D. Blechman --- Presider, Kaye Scholer, New York
Luis Omar Guerrero Rodriguez, Barrera Siqueiros Torres Landa, Mexico City
Pradeep S. Mehta, President, CUTS International, New Delhi

12:30
Lunch

2:00 
Antitrust Policy in the Information Age
Joseph Wayland
Acting Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington

Antitrust and Information Products
Mark Patterson
Fordham Law School, New York

Non-Exclusionary Abuses under EU Competition Law
Renato Nazzini
Labruna Mazziotti Segni, Southampton University, Southampton, Milan

Two-sided markets and predation/abuse 
Marc Rysman, Boston University, Boston

Panel Discussion
Herbert Hovenkamp --- Presider, Iowa Law School, Iowa City
Kai-uwe Kuhn, Chief Economist, DG Competition, EU Commission, Brussels

6:00
Closing

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PAYMENTS AND PARTICIPATION: THE INCENTIVES TO JOIN COOPERATIVE STANDARD SETTING EFFORTS

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Anne Layne-Farrar (Compass Lexecon), Gerard Llobet (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros) and Jorge Padilla (Compass Lexecon) describe PAYMENTS AND PARTICIPATION: THE INCENTIVES TO JOIN COOPERATIVE STANDARD SETTING EFFORTS.

ABSTRACT: This paper studies the effects of a Standard Setting Organization (SSO) imposing a licensing cap for patents incorporated into a standard. In particular, we evaluate the \Incremental Value" rule as a way to reward firms that contribute technology to a standard. This rule has been proposed as a means of avoiding patent hold-up of licensing firms by granting patent holders compensation equal to the value that their technology contributes to the standard on an ex-ante basis, as compared to the next best alternative. Our analysis shows that even in contexts where this rule is efficient from an ex-post point of view, it induces important distortions in the decisions of firms to innovate and participate in the SSO. Specifically, firms being rewarded according to this rule will inefficiently decide not to join the SSO, under the expectation that their technology becomes ex-post essential at which point they may negotiate larger! payments from the SSO.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Melbourne Law School’s Competition Law & Economics Network (CLEN): The Third Annual Baxt Lecture - Professor Stephen Calkins - Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Melbourne Law School’s Competition Law & Economics Network (CLEN) is pleased to invite you to the Third Annual Baxt Lecture in Competition Law.  CLEN hosts an Annual Public Lecture Series on competition law and economics related issues. The Lecture is given by an eminent international or national figure in this field on a topic of contemporary relevance. The intention behind the Lecture series is to highlight and generate debate about big picture policy issues as well as provide comparative insights from other jurisdictions.
 
The Lecture is named in honour of Professor Bob Baxt AO in recognition of his substantial contribution to the development of competition law in Australia. In particular, the Lecture acknowledges his significant support for the establishment of competition law as a recognised and sought after discipline at the graduate level at the Melbourne Law School. Professor Baxt is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the competition law specialty in the Melbourne Law Masters program.
 
 
 
 
The 2012 Lecture will be presented by Professor Stephen Calkins, a Member of the Irish Competition Authority and Director of the Mergers Division.
 
Topic: The Global Conversation about Merger Review and Powerful Buyers

Abstract: Professor Calkins has been involved in merger review as an academic, as a practitioner at a leading global law firm, as General Counsel of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and now as Member of the Competition Authority of Ireland and Director of its Mergers Division, where he is leading Ireland's updating of its merger guidelines.  He will draw on this rich background to offer observations about the evolution of international practice in analysing mergers, including consequences deriving from different review processes.  He will illustrate his points in part by discussing the timely issue of the role of powerful buyers.
 
About Stephen Calkins: Stephen was appointed Member of the Competition Authority of Ireland on 1 December 2011 and is Director of the Mergers Division. He is a law professor with experience in university administration, legal practice, and enforcement of competition and consumer law.  Before joining the Authority, Stephen served as Associate Vice President for Academic Personnel and Professor of Law at 32,000-student Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where he taught courses in competition and consumer law, among other subjects. He also served as counsel to Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. He served as General Counsel of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission during the first part of the Clinton Administration.
 
Stephen has authored, co-authored, and/or co-edited several books and scores of articles on competition and consumer law, and has lectured widely around the world. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and was a Senior Fellow of the American Antitrust Institute. He served for 12 years on the Councils of the American Bar Association Sections of Antitrust Law and/or Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He is also a former chair of the Association of American Law School’s Antitrust and Economic Regulation Committee. He holds degrees from Yale and Harvard.
 
 

Date:
Tuesday, 23rd October
Time:
Lunch will be available from 12 noon
The lecture will run from 1-2pm
Venue:
G08, Ground floor, Melbourne Law School
 
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
 
A location map can be found here
RSVP:
Tuesday, 9th October
 
To register please click here

Kind regards
 
Assoc. Prof. Caron Beaton-Wells            
CLEN Director
T: +61 3 8344 1004
M: 0418108483
Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
 

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Screening for Collusion: A Spatial Statistics Approach

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Pim Heijnen (University of Groningen), Marco A. Haan (University of Groningen) and Adriaan R. Soetevent (University of Amsterdam) address Screening for Collusion: A Spatial Statistics Approach.

ABSTRACT: We develop a method to screen for local cartels. We first test whether there is statistical evidence of clustering of outlets that score high on some characteristic that is consistent with collusive behavior. If so, we determine in a second step the most suspicious regions where further antitrust investigation would be warranted. We apply our method to build a variance screen for the Dutch gasoline market.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nonlinear Pricing as Exclusionary Conduct

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Philippe Chone (Crest-LEI) and Laurent Linnemer explore Nonlinear Pricing as Exclusionary Conduct.

ABSTRACT: We study the exclusionary properties of nonlinear pricing by dominant firms in a static environment. Optimal price schedules are nonlinear when the rivals’ sensitivity to competitive pressure varies with the “contestable share” of the market. When buyers can dispose of unconsumed units at no cost, and thus might purchase units they do not need, dominant firms are prevented from placing too much pressure on rivals, which limits the extent of inefficient exclusion. When disposal costs are large and sensitivity to competitive pressure is not monotonic in the contestable share, optimal price schedules may be locally decreasing and highly nonlinear.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)