Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, February 18, 2012

International Antitrust Litigation: Conflict of Laws and Coordination

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jurgen Basedow (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg, Professor at the University), Stephanie Francq (Catholic University of Louvain) and Laurence Idot (University Paris II Pantheon-Assas) have come out with the timely book International Antitrust Litigation: Conflict of Laws and Coordination.

BOOK ABSTRACT: The decentralisation of competition law enforcement and the stimulation of private damages actions in the European Union go hand in hand with the increasingly international character of antitrust proceedings. As a consequence, there is an ever-growing need for clear and workable rules to co-ordinate cross-border actions, whether they are of a judicial or administrative nature: rules on jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition as well as rules on sharing of evidence, the protection of business secrets and the interplay between administrative and judicial procedures. This book offers an in-depth analysis of these long neglected yet practically most important topics. It is the fruit of a research project funded by the European Commission, which brought together experts from academia, private practice and policy-making from across Europe and the United States. The 16 chapters cover the relevant provisions of the Brussels I and Rome I and II Regulations, the co-operation mechanisms provided for by Regulation 1/2003 and selected issues of US procedural law (such as discovery) that are highly relevant for transatlantic damages actions. Each contribution critically analyses the existing legislative framework and formulates specific proposals to consolidate and enhance cross-border antitrust litigation in Europe and beyond. Please click here to view the table of contents

February 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Irish European Law Forum / The Enforcement of Competition Law Fri 23 Mar 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The UCD Law School in association with the Competition Authority is hosting a conference on competition law enforcement. This one day conference will explore the question of enforcement in the antitrust sphere, looking at the enforcement toolkit available in both private and public enforcement, and civil and criminal actions. The issues of deterrence and compliance will also be considered by expert speakers.

Register to attend at www.ucd.ie/law/events/

Time:

9.00 – 17.00

Date:

23 March 2012

Venue:

Chartered Accountants House, 47-49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Programme

Session I

Deterrence and Compliance: The Organisational Dimension of Implementing Competition Law

Session II

The Private and the Public

Session III

The Challenges of Criminalisation

Session IV

Understanding Enforcement

Confirmed Speakers

  • Don Baker, Baker and Miller PLLC, Washington DC
  • Cathal Guiomard, Commission for Aviation Regulation
  • Morten Hviid, Director, Centre for Competition Policy, UEA
  • Niamh Hyland, BL
  • Frèdéric Jenny, Chairman, OECD Competition Law and Policy Committee
  • Mary-Catherine Lucey, UCD Law School
  • Imelda Maher, UCD Law School
  • Sebastian Peyer, CCP, UEA
  • Ewoud Saakers, Head of Unit of the European Competition Network in the Policy and Strategy Directorate, European Commission
  • Colin Scott, UCD School of Law

We look forward to meeting you at the event.

Best Wishes

Angela Ennis
UCD School of Law
Roebuck Castle, Belfield, Dublin 4.
T: 01 7168730
E: angela.ennis@ucd.ie

Pat Downey
Information Officer
Competition Authority
14 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
T:01 8045421
E: pd@tca.ie

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

Divergence in Merger Guidelines FERC vs. DOJ/FTC

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Bloomberg report that FERC has rejected convergining its merger guidelines wto those of DOJ/FTC's 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines. See here for details.

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

Formal Rules Versus an Economic Approach in Dealing with Cartels: The Need for More Coherence in European Competition Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Musetescu Radu Cristian, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and Andreas Stamate, advocate for Formal Rules Versus an Economic Approach in Dealing with Cartels: The Need for More Coherence in European Competition Law.

ABSTRACT: Cartelizing is today among the most hunted business conduct in the world. Competition authorities from the countries where these statutes were adopted embrace the wisdom that such agreements between competitors are unquestionably anti-competitive. As opposed to other business practices, cartel agreements seem to offer an undeniable proof of intent that confers comfort for those who are investigating and prosecuting them. A cartel is today qualified as per se illegal. No further proof is needed but the formal agreement and the shared intentions. They are, at least until now, the only business practice that has lead, in certain jurisdictions, to jail terms and criminal record for individuals who were engaged in their negotiation and implementation. However, cartels are business practices that do not fundamentally aggress against any property right. From a public policy perspective, the harsh attitude towards cartels is lacking a theoretical coherence. Today, when competition policies all over the world and especially in the European Union are gradually transiting towards a more economic approach to evaluating the welfare effects of business practices, reassessing cartels is a critical imperative in the effort for a more coherent and reasonable public policy.

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

The Assessment of Agreements for Which Temporary Antitrust Immunity is Sought: Competition Authority's Perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Fatih Cemil Ozbugday, Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC), has written on The Assessment of Agreements for Which Temporary Antitrust Immunity is Sought: Competition Authority's Perspective.

ABSTRACT: The present study provides an analysis of the conditions that led the Dutch competition authority (the NMa) to decide against a temporary antitrust immunity seeking agreement on antitrust grounds. First, a theoretical Bayesian decision framework, that is similar to that of Cooper et al. (2005), is presented to derive the optimal enforcement rule for agreements for which ex ante antitrust immunity is sought. The NMa’s decisions are then investigated in an econometric background where those final decisions are linked to various industry characteristics, as the NMa took them into consideration when making its final decision. In doing so, a bivariate Probit model with sample selection is estimated to account for the fact that non-application by firms operating in a specific industry for an exemption might result in significant bias. The econometric results suggest it is more likely that concerted practices are seen as anti-competitive in more competitive and less concentrated industries. Finally, the narrative evidence on the legal and institutional background, and the econometric results are interpreted in light of the theoretical Bayesian decision framework.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Competition Law, Extraterritoriality and Bilateral Agreements

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Florian Wagner-von Papp, University College London Faculty of Laws, Harvard Law School describes Competition Law, Extraterritoriality and Bilateral Agreements.

ABSTRACT: The chapter describes and compares the extraterritorial reach of US Antitrust and EU Competition Law. Beside providing a general overview of the unilateral extraterritorial enforcement, comity considerations and bilateral agreements, the chapter focuses especially on the current developments in the qualification of the effects doctrine, especially the qualifiers that the effects have to be 'direct' (or 'immediate'), 'substantial' and 'foreseeable'.

Some courts in the US have recently begun to take the 'directness' qualifier too literally. There is a danger that this will allow infringements with substantial and foreseeable domestic effects to go without antitrust scrutiny. The chapter argues that a criterion of 'directness' makes no sense where economic effects are concerned. In the US, where the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) prescribes the qualifiers by statute, the directness qualifier should be interpreted as coextensive with the foreseeability qualifier. In the EU, where no statute prescribes the qualifiers established by the General Court in the Gencor decision, the directness/immediacy qualifier should be dropped altogether.

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

Antitrust Compliance—It's All About the Culture

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ted Banks (Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Scharf) explains Antitrust Compliance—It's All About the Culture.

ABSTRACT: What does it take to develop an antitrust compliance program that works? There are a lot of pieces. The employees must be presented with materials that are directly relevant to each of their jobs. It must be done in a way that is easily understandable. It must be ubiquitous, so that little or no effort is needed to gain access to information. There should also be business controls so that violations are not easy to accomplish-or difficult to detect.

We've known these things for a long time. In antitrust, which in many ways is the grandfather (or perhaps the godfather) of corporate compliance programs, we've had detailed policies, handbooks, training courses, videos, slides. No shortage of information-yet the violations continue. The Justice Department seems to have given up on compliance when it comes to antitrust. Their main method to control cartel behavior is not to encourage prevention (i.e., compliance), but to encourage confession (i.e., the amnesty program). In fact, they are apparently so disgusted with the sorry state of compliance that they got a carve-out from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when it comes to antitrust. If convicted of a violation of any other federal criminal law, the company can get credit for good intentions if its compliance program met the definition of an "effective" program. But not true for antitrust.

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

Jurisdiction and Choice of Law in International Antitrust Law – A U.S. Perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Hannah L. Buxbaum, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington and Ralf Michaels, Duke University - School of Law have written on Jurisdiction and Choice of Law in International Antitrust Law – A U.S. Perspective.

ABSTRACT: This essay was written for a forthcoming book on international antitrust litigation in Europe. It provides a comparative perspective on the U.S. approach to the jurisdictional and choice-of-law issues raised in international antitrust litigation. The chapter examines personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants involved in anticompetitive conduct, as well as the question of applicable law in cross-border antitrust litigation -- including the possibility of applying foreign antitrust law. It also focuses on the intersection between antitrust claims and contract claims, and on the special conflict-of-laws issues that arise in the context of class actions.

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

Minority Shareholdings Under Antitrust Law: A Regulatory Gap?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Paul Lugard (TILEC) asks Minority Shareholdings Under Antitrust Law: A Regulatory Gap?

ABSTRACT: It is hard to underestimate the importance of minority shareholdings in today's economy. This applies to investments of private, non-financial institutions and institutional investors alike. Minority shareholdings, even between competing companies, are a widespread phenomenon in sectors as diverse as banking, insurance, energy, air travel, high-tech electronics, and automotive. The OECD estimates that in 2009 institutional investors alone managed financial assets in excess of $53 trillion including $22 trillion in equities in the OECD area. The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association states that in 2007 approximately 5200 European companies received private equity investments.

In many cases the equity stakes that private equity investors receive for funding remain well below the threshold that ordinarily triggers antitrust concerns. In other cases investors have some limited influence to support the company at hand, and in yet other cases investors will seek influence that extends to the determination of the company's strategic market conduct.

It has been firmly established that minority shareholdings that do not involve rights and means to confer the possibility of exercising "decisive influence" on a firm, and might at first glance appear innocuous, may, upon proper inspection and under specific circumstances, give rise to anticompetitive unilateral and coordinated effects. Interestingly, some economic research demonstrates that these concerns may also arise even if a competitor directly or indirectly holds an entirely passive minority interest in a competitor and is not represented in the competing company's board or has access to sensitive information.

Minority participations have long received the attention of antitrust agencies in many jurisdictions. However, these types of business transactions receive different treatment under antitrust and merger control laws in various jurisdictions. Indeed, antitrust agencies in Germany, Austria, and a number of other countries require prior notification for acquisitions of minority shareholdings above 25 percent, irrespective of market circumstances and the rights conferred to the holder of the stake. In the United Kingdom, as well, there is a 25 percent threshold, but applied in a different manner. Although there is a presumption of "material influence" irrespective of the status of the rest of the company's equity, the notification remains voluntary. In the United States, Section 7 of the Clayton Act provides for an "investment only" exception that serves, in effect, as a safe harbor for partial equity investors. In other jurisdictions, such as the European Union, prior notification of the acquisition of an equity minority interest or an interlocking directorship is only required if the acquisition leads to decisive influence over the target company.

The antitrust treatment of minority shareholdings has, over the past few years, attracted new attention. In 2008, the OECD organized a roundtable discussion on antitrust issues involving minority shareholdings and interlocking directorates. And more recently in the European Union, in a speech delivered on March 10, 2011 that seems at least in part fuelled by the Commission's inability to require Ryanair to divest itself of a 29.82 percent minority stake in Aer Lingus, the Commissioner for Competition, Joaquín Almunia, expressed his concern about the fact that the European Merger Control Regulation does not apply to minority shareholdings and has announced that the Commission will "see whether it is significant enough for us to try and close this gap in EU merger control.

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

Viral Open Source: Competition vs. Synergy

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Michal S. Gal University of Haifa - Faculty of Law has posted 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: Virality increases motivations for parallel innovation, both in open source and in commercial code, inter alia by facilitating competition among networks and by preventing the appropriability of viral FOSS by commercial firms. 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. The 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.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases: Theory and Practice

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Marie-Laure Allain Ecole Polytechnique, Paris - Department of Economic Sciences, Marcel Boyer University of Montreal - Department of Economics; Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO) and Jean Pierre Ponssard Ecole Polytechnique, Paris - Laboratoire d'Econometrie discuss The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases: Theory and Practice.

ABSTRACT: The determination of optimal fines to deter the formation or continuation of cartels is a major objective of competition policy. Several recent publications have suggested that the recent fines imposed by the European Commission are too low to be dissuasive and should therefore be substantially increased. In this paper, we question the economic reasoning underlying the models used in those articles as well as the methodology used in their application. Further, we propose a more adequate dynamic framework to assess the role of fines in deterring cartels and define a dissuasive benchmark level, from which we come to the conclusion that on average recent fines are adequately dissuasive.

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

The Next Step in the Development of Ex Post Evaluation of Merger Review Procedures: Defining the State of the Art with Staged Options for Implementation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Andrew I. Gavil, Howard University - School of Law has written on The Next Step in the Development of Ex Post Evaluation of Merger Review Procedures: Defining the State of the Art with Staged Options for Implementation.

ABSTRACT: Ex post review of the pre-consummation merger evaluation decisions of competition law enforcement authorities is today widely viewed as a desirable practice likely to improve future agency performance. As a result, there is now an established body of literature discussing both the desirability of ex post reviews, as well as the various techniques available for conducting them, and a number of agencies have implemented the practice. This article argues that the time is ripe to undertake an international effort to define the “state of the art” in ex post review techniques, in order to develop a “good practices” guide or handbook. Such a guide might be especially valuable to younger agencies. Sensitive to the often limited resources of such agencies, however, it also advocates efforts to identify simplified, yet still reliable means for conducting ex post reviews, which would provide these agencies with reasonably effective means for taking advantage of the practice’s benefits, while being scaled to take into account their limited resources.

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

Sixth Annual Postgraduate Workshop In Search of Effectiveness - Current Trends and Challenges in Competition Law Enforcement Thursday, 22nd March 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Sixth Annual Postgraduate Workshop

In Search of Effectiveness - Current Trends and Challenges in Competition Law Enforcement

Thursday, 22nd March 2012

Aims and Focus

Any system of law is only as effective as its enforcement mechanism. Enforcement has been described as the 'life blood' of a competition law, in the absence of which a competition regime is 'somewhat pointless'. The significance of competition law enforcement is steadily growing in the context of globalisation of markets and regulations.

The ongoing discourse on the enforcement of competition law calls for an assessment of various enforcement methods in light of their qualities, complementariness and potential overlap, in different (national, regional and international) contexts. At the same time regard has to be given to the issues of legitimacy, due process and human rights.

This Postgraduate Workshop aims to review and assess competition law enforcement methods and techniques; to study the current challenges of competition law enforcement; and to explore various answers and solutions to these challenges.

Agenda

8.30-9.15

Registration

9.15-9.30

Dean’s Welcome: Professor Colin Scott, Dean of Law, UCD

9.30-11.00

Competition Enforcement – the Interplay between Competition Law and Human Rights

Chair:

Dr Fiona De Londras, Lecturer, University College Dublin (Ireland)

Discussant:

Dr Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, Lecturer, University of Surrey (UK)

Name, University

Paper

Maciej Bernatt,

University of Warsaw (Poland)

A call for common European procedural standards in competition law

University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne (France)

Is there any hope for competition law after the ECHR’s judgement A.Meranini Diagosis S.R.L. v. Italy?

Nicolo Zingales,

Bocconi University (Italy)

Presumptions and right to be heard in European competition law

11.00-11.15

Coffee Break

11.15-12.45

Public Enforcement: Legitimacy and Effectiveness

Chair:

Professor Imelda Maher, Sutherland Professor of European Law, University College Dublin (Ireland)­­­

Discussant:

Dr Oana Stefan, Assistant Professor, HEC Paris (France)

Name, University

Paper

Anna-Louise Hinds,

University College Dublin (Ireland)

The European Commission’s Competition Enforcement Regime: legitimacy through the regulatory enforcement theory lens?

Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)

The institutional effects of due process in EU and national competition law enforcement:tailoring legitimacy?

Beverley Williamson,

Newcastle University (UK)

The Cartel Offence: Deterring Legitimacy?

12.45-13.45

Lunch Break

13.45-15.15

Decentralising Competition Law Enforcement

Chair:

Professor Lorenzo F. Pace, Professor of European Union Law, Università Europea di Roma (Italy)

Discussant:

Dr Sebastian Peyer, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia (UK)

Name, University

Paper

Jocelyn Delatre

University College Dublin (Ireland)

Divvying up the Plunder: Allocating damages in multi-party antitrust litigation in Europe.

Velimir Zivkovic

University of Belgrade (Serbia)

Building Private Enforcement from Scratch - The Serbian Example

Manuel Alejandro Penadés Fons, University of Valencia (Spain)

Beyond the prima facie effectiveness of Arbitration Commitments in EU Merger Control: Are Behavioural Remedies really enforceable?

15.15-15.30

Coffee Break

15.30-17.00

Practical Aspects of Transnational Enforcement of Competition Law

Chair:

Dr Jonathan Galloway, Lecturer, Newcastle University (UK)

Discussant:

Dr Anca D. Chirita, Lecturer, University of Durham (UK)

Name, University

Paper

Valerie Demedts

Ghent University (Belgium)

International Competition Law Enforcement: different means, one goal?

Wan Liza Md Amin

University of Wisconsin (US)

Addressing norms and institutional concerns in advanced and emerging economies: towards effective competition law enforcement.

Marek Martyniszyn

University College Dublin (Ireland)

Is Extraterritoriality in Antitrust an Option? Access to Evidence in Transnational Antitrust Cases.

 

17.00

Keynote Speech, Professor Stephen Calkins, Member of the Irish Competition Authority

Presentation of the Best Paper Award: Professor Colin Scott, Dean of Law, UCD

Concluding Remarks

Reception

Retire for Workshop dinner

 

Clear here to download the Workshop Agenda (PDF)

Please note

(1) Printouts: The Postgraduate Workshop is organised in an environmentally-conscious way and no printouts will be handed out to the Workshop participants. We encourage reliance on the digital copies.

(2) Dress code: Smart academic (please, do not suit up for this event).

Workshop Organising Committee

Marek Martyniszyn (Head), Jocelyn Delatre, Anna-Louise Hinds, Yichen Yang

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

Bank mergers and deposit interest rate rigidity

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Valeriya Dinger (University of Osnabrueck) explores Bank mergers and deposit interest rate rigidity.

ABSTRACT: In this paper I revisit the debate on the impact of bank and market characteristics on the rigidity of retail bank interest rates. Whereas existing research in this area has been exclusively concerned with static measures of bank and market structure, I adopt a dynamic approach which explores the rigidity effects of the changes of bank and market structure generated by bank mergers. I find that bank mergers significantly affect the frequency of changes to deposit rates. In particular, the probability of adjusting deposit rates in response to shocks in money market rates significantly drops after mergers that involve large target banks and after mergers that generate a substantial geographical expansion of bank operations. These effects, however, materialize only after a "transition" period characterized by very frequent changes of the deposit rates.

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

The Impact of market structure and price discrimination strategies in the airline sector

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Angela Stefania Bergantino (University of Bari, Italy) and Claudia Capozza (University of Bari, Italy) study The Impact of market structure and price discrimination strategies in the airline sector.

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates which factors influence airlines’ decisions when planning pricing strategies. We explore the impact of market structure and airlines pricing behaviour in a specific geographical context characterised by a low level of intermodal competition. The data used is, in fact, collected on a sample of southern Italian routes, for which alternative accessibility through different modes of transport is limited. We focus primarily on a specific type of pricing strategy: the intertemporal price discrimination (IPD). The IPD consists in charging different fares to different travellers according to the days missing to departure when the ticket is bought. The work aims to verify whether market’s concentration levels play a significant role in defining fare levels and, more in particular, whether airlines are more or less keen to engage in IPD when competition increases or when it reduces. The paper is structured as follows. In Section 2 we survey the relevant literature; the data collection is described Section 3 and in Section 4 we present the empirical strategy. Afterward, in Section 5 we discuss the main outcomes and in Section 6 we draw some conclusions.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Verti-zontal Differentiation in Monopolistic Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Francesco Di Comite (Université Catholique de Louvain and European Commission), Jacques-François Thisse (Université Catholique de Louvain) and Hylke Vandenbussche (National Bank of Belgium) discuss Verti-zontal Differentiation in Monopolistic Competition.

ABSTRACT: The recent availability of trade data at a firm-product-country level calls for a new generation of models able to exploit the large variability detected across observations. By developing a model of monopolistic competition in which varieties enter preferences non-symmetrically, we show how consumer taste heterogeneity interacts with quality and cost heterogeneity to generate a new set of predictions. Applying our model to a unique micro-level dataset on Belgian exporters with product and destination market information, we find that heterogeneity in consumer tastes is the missing ingredient of existing monopolistic competition models necessary to account for observed data patterns.

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

OECD’s Global Forum on Competition in Paris Thursday 16 to Friday 17 February 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

OECD’s Global Forum on Competition in Paris Thursday 16 to Friday 17 February 2012

The OECD’s Global Forum on Competition will take place this week, Thursday 16 February to Friday 17 February, with some 385 participants from 110 delegations, including OECD members, non-member economies, international, regional and non-governmental organisations.

The Global Forum is not open to the public, but details of the sessions and the papers produced for each are available on the Global Forum website (links below).

The three topics being discussed at the Global Forum on Competition are:

Competition and Commodity Price Volatility

· Background Note by the Secretariat - OECD paper by Nick Taylor and Michal Petr

· Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy Responses - joint work by 10 international organisations

· Competition Issues in the Agricultural Sector - Paper by Bibek Debroy

· Competition Issues in Agricultural Supply Chains – Paper by Scott Davenport

· Reflections on the Causes of Commodity Market Price Changes and Volatility – Paper by Torbjörn Iwarson

· Competition and Commodities and Price Volatility – Paper by Gustavo Lagos

Improving International Co-operation in Cartel Investigations

· Background Note by the Secretariat - OECD paper by Hilary Jennings

State-Owned Enterprises and Competitive Neutrality

The Global Forum will include keynote speeches from:

· Secretary General of the OECD, Angel Gurría

· Director General of the WTO, Pascal Lamy

· Vice President of the World Bank, Otaviano Canuto

· Chairman of the OECD Competition Committee, Frédéric Jenny

Details of the OECD Global Forum on Competition and the agenda are available on the OECD’s website: www.oecd.org/competition/globalforum

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

Issues in on-line advertising and competition policy: a two-sided market perspective

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Emilio Calvano (Boconni) and Bruno Jullien (Toulouse) have written on Issues in on-line advertising and competition policy: a two-sided market perspective.

ABSTRACT: Although theories of platform competition are not specific to the Internet, they shed light on most of the basic trade-offs faced by Internet platforms and will be used here to set the stage. These theories contrast market outcomes with efficient (i.e. welfare-maximizing) outcomes under various market configurations and governance structures. Accordingly in what follows we first discuss competition policy issues specific to two-sided intermediation that are relevant for advertising markets in general. We then turn to those aspects inherent to the on-line world that we believe can potentially lead to new intuitions or deserve specific treatment.

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

Competition for Procurement Shares

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jose Alacde(Universidad de Alicante, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Teoria Economica) and Dahm Matthias (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) explore Competition for Procurement Shares.

ABSTRACT: We propose a new procurement procedure which allocates shares of the total amount to be procured depending on the bids of suppliers. Among the properties of the mechanism are: (i) Bidders have an incentive to participate in the procurement procedure, as equilibrium payos are strictly positive. (ii) The mechanism allows to vary the extent to which armative action objectives, like promoting local industries, are pursued. (iii) Surprisingly, even accomplishing armative action goals, procurement expenditures might be lower than under a classical auction format.

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

MOFCOM's Approach to Merger Remedies: Distinctions from Other Competition Authorities

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Michael Han & Zhaofeng Zhou (Freshfields) discuss MOFCOM's Approach to Merger Remedies: Distinctions from Other Competition Authorities.

ABSTRACT: China's Anti-monopoly Law ("AML") took effect in August 2008. From the AML's inception to the end of 2011, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM," the authority responsible for merger review under the AML), had imposed "restrictive conditions"--known as remedies in other jurisdictions, such as the European Union--in 10 transactions out of the 382 it had reviewed. MOFCOM has not yet issued a general guidance on merger remedies, and there have been few studies on the Chinese merger remedies regime. This article attempts to examine the key distinctions between MOFCOM's approach to merger remedies and the approach taken in other jurisdictions. It also briefly analyzes the implications of such distinctions for companies, which may need to consider offering remedies to obtain merger clearance in China.

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