Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
David A. Hyman, University of Illinois College of Law and William E. Kovacic, George Washington University - Law School ask Competition Agencies with Complex Policy Portfolios: Divide or Conquer?
ABSTRACT: Antitrust law has been adopted by 120 jurisdictions worldwide. In more than half of these jurisdictions, the agency charged with enforcing antitrust law also has other responsibilities. The assignment of multiple regulatory tasks can affect the performance of a competition agency in complex and subtle ways. We present a framework for analyzing the consequences of creating public bodies with complex policy portfolios. Using examples from across the administrative state, we analyze the forces that shape the content of an agency’s policy duties, and how the portfolio of assigned duties affects the way an agency approaches its assigned tasks, and its performance of those tasks. We apply this framework to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, whose diversified policy portfolio includes antitrust, consumer protection, and data protection/privacy.