Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, October 29, 2012

Interview with FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Antitrust Source provides an Interview with FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Due Process in EU Competition Cases Following the Introduction of the New Best Practices Guidelines on Antitrust Proceedings

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Anne MacGregor (Cadwalader) and Bogdan Gecic explore Due Process in EU Competition Cases Following the Introduction of the New Best Practices Guidelines on Antitrust Proceedings.

ABSTRACT: Commission decisions have unprecedented legal and practical effects that require stringent procedural safeguards in order to satisfy due process. The current state of EU judicial review is as yet insufficient to counterbalance the far-reaching impact of Commission decisions. The Commission's recently adopted antitrust best practices package does not cure the inadequacies of the broader enforcement model and to some extent exacerbates the due process problem. The Commission's procedure could be reformed into a full two-tier system, modelled on robust Continental civil administrative systems, which would add to its actual and perceived fairness.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Balancing Enforcement with Advocacy: A Constant Challenge

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Malgorzata Krasnodebska-Tomkiel explains Balancing Enforcement with Advocacy: A Constant Challenge.

ABSTRACT: In over 20 years of its existence, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has faced many challenges. Some were more tenacious than others, but in the end, only one appears to be constantly defying our Office. How to render our enforcement more effective, how to better detect and react to competition infringements? At the same time, how to prevent violations and promote a compliance culture? Balancing between enforcement and advocacy is and will always be our major preoccupation, one that we share with all other competition authorities.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Rule of Reason Re-Examined

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ned Cavanagh, St. John's University - School of Law has a new work on The Rule of Reason Re-Examined.

ABSTRACT: This article analyzes the application of the Rule of Reason as articulated by Justice Brandeis in Chicago Board of Trade v. United States to alleged restraints of trade in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act. It argues that the Brandeis formulation, which requires courts to consider a broad range of economic factors and then weigh procompetitive benefits against anticompetitive effects, has proven unwieldy in the hands of trial judges. Because the Brandeis formulation provides little guidance as to how these factors should be weighed, courts have struggled to develop clear, predictable, and consistent standards under section 1. This article considers several alternatives to the Brandeis formulation and recommends that courts can revitalize the Rule of Reason by using the highly structured approach of the D.C. Circuit in the Three Tenors case to develop antitrust rules that are clear, predictable, and administrable.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Discriminatory Pricing in Software Sales and Competition Law: More Efficiency than Harm?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Qiang Yu, Leiden Law School asks Discriminatory Pricing in Software Sales and Competition Law: More Efficiency than Harm?

ABSTRACT: Discriminatory Pricing is a practice that can be used either to eliminate competitors or to charge consumers deserving prices, both of which are condemned by competition law. However, Discriminatory Pricing is often accompanied by certain positive effects. For instance, it allows more consumers to consume the product and thus commit to economies of scale. Therefore, there are no illegal issues associated with Discriminatory Pricing per se. This paper observes that Discriminatory Pricing practices occur in the software market. The software market is a new market that differs from traditional markets in many aspects. Although factors such as network effects and innovation competition provide an environment conducive to the proliferation of Discriminatory Pricing, these factors also remove the eliminative and exploitative aspects of Discriminatory Pricing in the software market. Traditional regulation is not well suited to regulating software Discriminatory Pricing. Software Discriminatory Pricing is a commonly used marketing strategy and should not be subject to restrictions by competition law. This paper analyzed the possibility of abusive Discriminatory Pricing in the software market and suggested a test for assessing such abuse. Accordingly, this paper has concluded that software Discriminatory Pricing is efficient.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Collective Dominance Based on Tacit Collusion in Nigerian Telecommunications Markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Chukwudiebube Bede Opata, University of Nigeria - Faculty of Law analyzes Collective Dominance Based on Tacit Collusion in Nigerian Telecommunications Markets.

ABSTRACT: The regulation of collective dominance is a relatively novel concept in most African telecommunications sectors. This article argues that the Nigerian legal framework for regulation of collective dominance, which was modeled substantially on EU law, although an improvement on previous rules, requires refinement to provide clarity and regulatory certainty.

October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

European Commission seeks to raise money for its budget via antitrust fines

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

If this news report is to be believed, antitrust is being used as a revenue raising weapon to fill the EU budget gap. This is politicalization of antitrust in a way that is not welfare enhancing. The Washingtin Times reports:

The European Commission says it needs an additional $11.7 billion to meet all of the commitments to the European Union in the 2012 budget. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, adopted an amending budget last week, but it must be approved by the European Parliament and the 27 EU national leaders. The EU says about a third of the money can be raised from antitrust fines and other penalties. (italics added)

October 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Network of Industrial Economists Winter Conference 14th December 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Network of Industrial Economists Winter Conference

On 14th December 2012 we are delighted to be hosting the Network of Industrial Economists (NIE) Winter Conference. The 1-day event will be looking at Competition Issues in the Health Sector.

Our venue is 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London - a classically-styled terrace and home to The British Academy.

The draft programme appears below: if you would like to attend please use the booking form which can be downloaded or accessed via the navigation to your left.

09:45-10:15

Registration, coffee/tea available

10:15-10:30

Welcome

10:30-12:30

Session 1:

Moderator: Morten Hviid, University of East Anglia, Law School and Director of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy.

Pierre Dubois, Toulouse School of Economics & CEPR, "The effects of price regulation on pharmaceutical industry margins: A structural estimation for anti-ulcer drugs"

Gautham Gowrisankaran, University Arizona, Department Economics, "Mergers when prices are negotiated: Evidence from the hospital industry"

12:30-13:30

Lunch

13:30-14:45

Session 2: New Researcher Presentations

Moderator: Franco Mariuzzo, University of East Anglia, School of Economics & ESRC Centre for Competition Policy

Charlotte Davies, University of East Anglia, Medical School "Market structure in medical devices: An example of the hip prostheses market"

Sotiris Vandoros, London School of Economics Health, "tbc"

Kathleen Nosal, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics, "Estimating switching costs for Medicare advantage plans"

14:45-15:00

Break, coffee/tea available

15:00-17:00

Session 3: Empirical lessons on Mergers and Acquisitions in the Health Sector.

Moderator: Steven Davies, University of East Anglia, School of Economics & ESRC Centre for Competition Policy

Farasat Bokhari, University of East Anglia, School of Economics & ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, "Specifications in demand systems for drugs: logits v. aids"

Hugh Gravelle, University of York, Centre for Health Economics, "Competition, prices, and quality: Australian GPs"

17:00-17:30

Closing Remarks:

TBC

October 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IPRs, Competition and Standard Setting: In Search of a Model to Address Hold-Up

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Valerio Torti, University of Southampton discusses IPRs, Competition and Standard Setting: In Search of a Model to Address Hold-Up.

ABSTRACT: Standard setting is a field where the interaction IPRs-competition clearly comes to light. Misleading behaviors by IPRs owners taking part in standards institutes may compromise the crucial goal of standardization activities: making consumers’ lives better. These conducts may ultimately be caught by competition rules. In order to limit the risks of unfair practices, it seems crucial to strike an optimal balance between the innovators’ interests and the standards bodies’ objectives.

October 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Antitrust Agencies Right to Expand Scrutiny of Patent Transfers and Acquisitions