Monday, March 9, 2015
Matthias Firgo, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and Agnes Kuegler, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration - Department of Economics are Detecting Collusion in Spatially Differentiated Markets.
ABSTRACT: The empirical literature on mergers, market power and collusion in differentiated markets has mainly focused on methods relying on output and/or panel data. In contrast to this literature we suggest a novel approach that allows for the detection of collusive behaviour among a group of firms making use of information on the spatial structure of horizontally differentiated products. By estimating best response functions using a spatial econometrics approach, we focus on differences in the strategic interaction in pricing between different groups of firms as well as on differences in price levels. We apply our method to the market for ski lift tickets using a unique data set on ticket prices and detailed resort-specific characteristics covering all ski resorts in Austria. We show that prices of ski resorts forming alliances are higher and increase with the size and towards the spatial center of an alliance. Strategic interaction in pricing is higher within than outside alliances. All results are in line with the findings of theoretical models on collusion in horizontally differentiated markets.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
We have two openings for Skills Faculty at the University of Florida. Gainesville is a lovely college town with a low cost of living, warm weather, good public schools and a vibrant intellectual life. If you know anyone looking for a change from their current job, please encourage them to apply.
Lecturer. The University of Florida Levin College of Law seeks applicants for a Lecturer position in the Legal Drafting Program. The Legal Drafting course is a required course at the College of Law. It is taught to second year law students and focuses on the drafting of litigation documents, contracts, and legislation. This is a nine-month, non-tenured faculty position, which offers the opportunity for the award of long-term contracts. Successful applicants should hold a J.D. degree from an accredited law school and have legal practice experience, preferably experience that includes extensive legal drafting. The start date will be the fall 2015 semester which begins on August 16, 2015. Salary will be $50,000 - $53,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. The application deadline is March 15, 2015. Members of groups of under-represented in the legal profession, including persons of color and women, are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications must be submitted online. Go to https://jobs.ufl.edu, requisition number 0907670. A cover letter, resume, transcript(s) and three references must be included with your online application. To learn more about the University of Florida Levin College of Law, please go to our website at: www.law.ufl.edu.
00028905 position number
requisition number 0907670
Lecturer. The University of Florida Levin College of Law seeks applicants for a Lecturer position to teach courses in which the skills of interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, and mediation advocacy are taught. This is a nine-month, non-tenured faculty position, which offers the opportunity for the award of long-term contracts. Successful applicants should hold a J.D. degree from an accredited law school. Candidates with legal practice experience involving the above skills are strongly preferred. Teaching experience is desirable, but not required. The start date will be the fall 2015 semester which begins on August 16, 2015. Salary will be $50,000 - $53,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. The application deadline is March 15, 2015. Members of groups of under-represented in the legal profession, including persons of color and women, are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications must be submitted online. Go to https://jobs.ufl.edu, requisition number 0907671. A cover letter, resume, transcript(s) and three references must be included with your online application. To learn more about the University of Florida Levin College of Law, please go to our website at: www.law.ufl.edu.
0907671 requisition number
00006370 position number
China 2015 Update
- Yong Lim, Yunyu Shen, Feb 12, 2015
A Tale of Two Courts: Handling Market Definition in Abuse of Dominance Cases Under Market Share-Based Statutory Power Presumptions in China and Korea
The SPC from the get go seems to have realized the need to maintain a modicum of flexibility in approaching market definition. Yong Lim & Yunyu Shen (Harvard Law)
- Marc Waha, Feb 12, 2015
In the space of six months, in straightforward cases a “MOFCOM merger approval” has gone from a shorthand for administrative headache and significant deal delays to a reference to an efficient process delivering prompt and largely predictable outcomes. Marc Waha (Norton Rose)
- Kiyoko Yagami, Feb 12, 2015
Merger Filing Regime in the PRC: Uncertainty Still Remains in the Concept of “Control” – Complex Dilemma Faced by Foreign Investors
Given MOFCOM’s more assertive enforcement of the merger control regime, foreign investors with a business presence in China may face a catch-22 situation when entering into a minority acquisition. Kiyoko Yagami (Anderson Mōri & Tomotsune)
- Liu Yang, Feb 12, 2015
As to the reason of the perceived sudden increase of enforcement against foreign companies, instead of taking the phenomenon as selective or discriminatory in nature, it may be more reasonable to interpret it as a sign of the enforcers’ growing confidence. YANG Liu
- Hazel Yin, Ruohan Zhang, Feb 12, 2015
This would arguably undermine the authorized distribution system, which recognizes that high-tech products, such as automobiles, should be sold by properly trained staff who understand the product and are able to provide appropriate after-sales services. Hazel Yin & Ruohan Zhang (King & Wood Mallesons)
- Fay Zhou, John Eichlin, Xi Liao, Feb 12, 2015
With intensified enforcement, the international business community has raised concerns about both the substance and procedure of investigations in China. Fay Zhou, John Eichlin, & Xi Liao (Linklaters)
CLaSF Workshop at Lancaster University on Friday 24 April focusing on Object And/Or Effects in Competition Law
CLaSF Workshop at Lancaster University on Friday 24 April focusing on Object And/Or Effects in Competition Law.
Friday, March 6, 2015
Jay Pil Choi, Michigan State University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute), Subhasish M. Chowdhury, University of East Anglia - School of Economics, Center for Competition Policy, and Center for Experimental and Behavioral Social Science, Jaesoo Kim, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) - Department of Economics Group discuss Contests with Internal Conflict and Power Asymmetry.
ABSTRACT: We investigate situations in which players make costly contributions as group members in a group conflict, and at the same time engage in contest with fellow group members to appropriate the possible reward. We introduce within group power asymmetry and complementarity in members’ efforts, and analyze how each group’s internal conflict influences its chance of winning in the external conflict. We find that a more symmetric group may expend more effort in external conflict when the (common) collective action technology exhibits a high degree of complementarity. Furthermore, depending on the degree of complementarity, the stronger player’s relative contribution to external conflict may be higher in a more asymmetric group and, as a result, it is possible for the weaker player to earn a higher payoff. In absence of any complementarity, the rent-dissipation is non-monotonic with the within-group power asymmetry.
Markus Dertwinkel-Kalt, Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) and Christian Wey, University of Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) analyze Remedies vs. Extreme Options in Merger Control.
ABSTRACT: We analyze how remedies in merger control affect information acquisition by an antitrust agency which is imperfectly informed about the merger's type. The legislator (principal) and the agency share the same objective function (e.g., consumer surplus standard) but the agency must bear (non-contractible) information costs. When remedies are not feasible, then the agency's incentive to acquire information is relatively strong as a false decision has relatively large adverse effects. Allowing for remedies introduces an intermediate option into the agency's action set which can frustrate the agency's incentive to acquire information. This finding, however, depends on the institutional environment. While our results fit well this an inquisitorial system, we show that under an adversial system information acquisition incentives are not per se lower when remedies become feasible.
Eva Suzanne Lachnit, Utrecht University School of Law (the Netherlands) explores Compliance Programmes in Competition Law: Improving the Approach of Competition Authorities.
ABSTRACT: This article discusses the approach to compliance programmes of two national competition authorities: the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets and the French Autorité de la Concurrence. The article explores the question whether these authorities could do more to unlock the full potential of compliance programmes with a view to securing commitment to competition rules. As compliance programmes cannot be imposed vertically, a true commitment by market parties is necessary, thus crossing the public-private domain. To answer the question posed above, the practice of the competition authorities up to this point is discussed, as well as the advantages and pitfalls that they have so far experienced or perceived. Naturally, the academic debate on the use of compliance programmes is outlined as well. Finally, recommendations are made for national practice.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
08.30 Registration & Continental breakfast
Nathalie HOMOBONO I General Director, DGCCRF, Paris
Frédéric JENNY I Chairman, OECD Competition Committee, Paris
The State of the Union:
Antitrust in the EU in 2015-2016
Margrethe VESTAGER I Commissioner responsible for competition policy, European Commission
Tool of choice or poison for antitrust enforcement?
Bruno LASSERRE I Chairman, Autorité de la concurrence, Paris
Jed SAUL RAKOFF I Judge, Southern District of New York
Wouter WILS I Hearing Officer, EU Commission, Brussels I Visiting Professor, King’s College London
Jean-François BELLIS I Lawyer, Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels
David SPECTOR I Economist, MAPP, Paris | Paris School of Economics
Which competition policy for China?
Frédéric JENNY I Chairman, OECD Competition Committee, Paris
Wang XIAOYE I Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing
Mark WILLIAMS I Professor, Melbourne University
Standard setting organizations and processes:
Challenges and opportunities for competition
Josef DREXL | Professor, Max Planck Institute, Munich
Representative I Samsung
Jorge PADILLA I Economist, Senior Managing Director, Compass Lexecon, Brussels/London
James KILLICK I Lawyer, White & Case, Brussels
Law & Economics: Why bother with economists?
Laurence IDOT I Professor, University Paris II Panthéon-Assas I Member, Autorité de la concurrence, Paris I President, Scientific Committee Concurrences Journal
Marc van der WOUDE I Judge, General Court of the European Union, Luxembourg
Massimo MOTTA I Chief Competition Economist, DG COMP, Brussels
Jérôme PHILIPPE I Lawyer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paris
Kai-Uwe KÜHN I Senior Consultant, CRA Brussels/London | Professor, Michigan University
Closing keynote speech
Emmanuel MACRON I Minister of the economics, Industry and digital economy, Paris
18.20 Concurrences PhD Awards 2015
* To be confirmed
The First Fully On-Line Global Competition Law Masters Program
Spencer Weber Waller
Professor and Director
Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies
Loyola University Chicago
The Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies of Loyola University Chicago School of Law is pleased to announce the world’s first fully on-line LLM (Master of Laws) and MJ (Master of Jurisprudence) degree programs in Global Competition Law. Competition Law is the international term for what we refer to as antitrust law in the United States. Antitrust law regulates market competition through rules on anticompetitive agreements, monopolization and abuse of dominance, as well as mergers and acquisitions which have the potential to harm competition and consumers. While the US has had antitrust laws since 1890 and the EU since 1957, there are over 120 jurisdictions around the world that now have some viable form of competition law which they enforce nationally or regionally.
The newer agencies and laws include large transitional economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, former Soviet economies in Europe and Asia, as well as scores of smaller and developing economies. The knowledge base in competition law and policy is often thin in most of these jurisdictions. In many of these jurisdictions the professional staff of the agencies include non-lawyers who have no prior formal training in the field.
While the Global Competition Law programs will be available to persons anywhere in the world, it is aimed at the public and private sectors outside the United States to provide a sophisticated and consistent base of knowledge for both lawyers (LLM) and non-lawyers (MJ) working in the competition law field. There is great demand for such training, the on-line nature of the program is well-suited to the international nature of the intended student audience, and there is no known on-line program of this nature anywhere in the world. We anticipate enrolling the first class of students in late August of 2015.
The overall desired outcomes and goals of the Global Competition Law program is to provide the students with the knowledge and skills they need to become effective competition and consumer advocates in their home jurisdictions. The program will combine both theory and practice to contribute to the continued professionalization of the competition and consumer community in both the public and private sectors. In so doing, the program will contribute to the development of the rule of law and economic justice on a global scale.
The global competition law LLM and MJ programs will have the same basic structure and requirements. The principal difference will be the optional LLM thesis offering with no such requirement for the MJ degree. Both degrees will consist of 20 credit hours consisting of four required courses and four elective courses chosen from a menu of 8-10 additional offerings. Both programs are offered on a part-time basis to be completed in two years to accommodate working professionals. Tuition will be scaled to the level of economic development in the student’s jurisdiction.
The required courses consist of Principles of Competition Law; Intellectual Property Survey; Law and Economics; and International and Comparative Competition Law. The elective curriculum will require choice of four of the following courses:
U.S. Antitrust Law; EU Competition Law Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law (tentative); Enforcement and Institutions; Corporate Compliance; International Merger Regulation; Consumer Law, International Cartel Regulation, and the LLM Thesis seminar.
 A thesis will not be available for MJ candidates (those without an underlying law degree) because of the serious problems associated with the direction and legal research of a thesis by students without previous legal training.
Marek Martyniszyn (Queen's Belfast) and Maciej Bernatt (Warsaw) describe On Convergence with Hiccups. Recent Amendments to Poland's Competition Law.
ABSTRACT: January 2015 marks entry into force of the 2014 Amendment Act, reforming Poland’s competition law. This article outlines the main changes and analyses in detail four of them: fines for individuals, leniency plus, settlements, and changes to the Authority’s inspection powers. It addresses the question to what extent the reform achieves its aim of increasing the effectiveness of enforcement.
Frederic Marty has a new paper (in French) on Airports, Low Cost Carriers, and State Aids : a Two-sided Market Perspective.
ABSTRACT: A lot of cases had arouse in the past decade about agreements between regional airports and low-cost carriers. These agreement are challenged on the basis of the State Aids European control as they rise concerns not only about competition distortions between airlines but also about fiscal competition risks among Member States or local governments. Such phenomena could be expected as regional airports are characterized by significant overcapacities and overlapping inducing a substitutability for airlines. Surprisingly, the new 2014 guidelines on State Aids granted to airlines open the way to transitory operating aid schemes, an option apparently at odds with the European longstanding principles. Our purpose in this paper is to demonstrate that such agreements can make sense from the economic point of view provided that the relationship between the carrier and the airport is no longer analysed as a vertical chain, inducing an assessment in terms of economic dependence, but as a two-sided market. The favourable usage terms granted to low cost carriers generate additional flows on the other side, with commercial revenues from shops or parking. Consequently, subsidizing operating costs might be rational, even for a private investor in a market economy, and might be a perennial device.
Daniel S. Hosken, Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission and Steven Tenn, Charles River Associates analyze Horizontal Merger Analysis in Retail Markets.
ABSTRACT: In this essay, we describe antitrust analysis of horizontal mergers in U.S. retail markets. We begin by providing a brief overview of the economic and legal framework governing horizontal merger policy, and highlight key issues in analyzing retail mergers. Next, we discuss the changing legal treatment of retailing mergers by providing a description of four major merger challenges brought by U.S. antitrust authorities over the last 50 years. We then provide a detailed discussion of the economic tools used to analyze retailing mergers. We start by presenting a frequently used model of retail competition to illustrate how retail mergers can create or enhance market power. We then describe a variety of structural and reduced form empirical techniques that can be used to quantify competition between merging retailers and, in some cases, to forecast merger price effects.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Wolf Sauter, Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Dutch Healthcare Authority; Tilburg Law School discusses Containing Corporatism: EU Competition Law and Private Interest Government.
ABSTRACT: Corporatism, or private interest government, raises objections both from a democratic and from an economic perspective. This paper examines the application of EU competition law to private rule making that is purportedly in the public interest. Earlier case law holding Member States responsible for anticompetitive delegation (Van Eycke) can be contrasted with case law that focuses on the inherent restrictions of the pursuit of public policy aims and keeps some private arrangements outside the scope of the cartel prohibition altogether (Wouters). More recently we can identify an approach where the public and private activities of entities are considered separately (SELEX). The 2014 ONP Case is an example where the General Court distinguishes private and public interests, and takes a tough line where the limits of the latter are exceeded. Corporatism is therefore, to some extent, contained by EU competition law. However, there is a related trend toward taking account of public interest requirements in antitrust under the directly applicable exemption provision of Article 101(3) TFEU. Alongside the abovementioned Wouters approach that requires balancing under Article 101(1) TFEU, and given the context of the decentralisation of EU antitrust law, this raises a risk of fragmentation that remains to be addressed.
Hiroshi Kitamura, Kyoto Sangyo University, Noriaki Matsushima, Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research, and Misato Sato, George Washington University - Graduate School of Economics have written about Exclusive Contracts with Complementary Inputs.
ABSTRACT: This study constructs a model of anticompetitive exclusive contracts in the presence of complementary inputs. A downstream firm transforms multiple complementary inputs into final products. When complementary input suppliers have market power, upstream competition within a given input market benefits not only the downstream firm (by lowering the input price) but also complementary input suppliers (by raising complementary input prices). The downstream firm is thus unable to earn higher profits even when socially efficient entry is allowed. Hence, the inefficient incumbent supplier can deter socially efficient entry by using exclusive contracts even in the absence of economies of scale and downstream competition. These results have important implications for antitrust agencies, showing the importance of considering the existence of complementary inputs when examining cases of potential anticompetitive exclusive dealing.
Arghya Ghosh, UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics, Hodaka Morita, University of New South Wales - School of Economics, and Chengsi Wang, Department of Economics, University of Mannheim analyze Horizontal Mergers in the Presence of Vertical Relationships.
ABSTRACT: We study welfare effects of horizontal mergers under a successive oligopoly model and find that downstream mergers can increase welfare if they reduce input prices. The lower input price shifts some input production from cost-inefficient upstream firms to cost-efficient ones. Also, the lower input price makes upstream entry less attractive, reduces the number of upstream entrants, and decreases their average costs in the presence of fixed entry costs. We identity necessary and sufficient conditions for a reduction in input prices and welfare-improving horizontal mergers under a general demand function. Qualitative nature of our findings remains unchanged for upstream mergers.
Thibault Schrepel, University of Versailles describes Friedrich Hayek's Contribution to Antitrust Law and Its Modern Application.
ABSTRACT: Friedrich Hayek is one the most influential economists of his time. Yet, Hayek’s influence on antitrust judges and antitrust agencies is quite low compared to the one other economists have. This should change. The very rapid growth of high-technology markets tends to confirm Hayek’s views on competition, that reason why it is time to (re)consider his work. As of today, dynamic efficiencies are not fully considered in most antitrust analyses. Based on Hayek’s work, the essay proposes some concrete changes in our modern laws. They imply to consider every aspect of the concept of ‘innovation’ in all antitrust analyses, by taking position on standardization, predatory innovation, disruptive innovation and other major themes for our economies. Also, analysing Hayek’s thinking show us why antitrust laws should only apply with certitude and agencies should consider false positives with more consistency.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Giorgio Castaldo (DG Comp) and Aleko Bogdanov (DG Comp) describe The Nynas Case: The Interplay Between the Failing Firm Defence and the Counterfactual Method.
ABSTRACT: The failing firm defence is a specific occurrence of a counterfactual scenario of a concentration, with unchanged requirements in terms of evidence.
Sebastian Peyer, University of Leiceter describes Access to competition authorities’ files in private antitrust litigation.
ABSTRACT: The growth of private antitrust litigation in the courts of the Member States creates tensions between claimants and competition authorities. Claimants seek access to confidential records held by the authorities while the competition authorities try to maintain the confidentiality of those files. This article analyses the two main access routes to confidential information in the files of competition authorities in the EU. It first looks at access under Regulation 1049/2001 (Transparency Regulation). Then, the article assesses the framework for disclosure in the national courts, analysing the Court of Justice’s Pfleiderer and Donau Chemie decisions, its application in England and Germany, and the changes that are required with the adoption of the Damages Directive. It finds that both access routes tend to favour the protection of authority files and that access-seeking parties face high-legal thresholds for the disclosure of files and leniency documents. It argues that the raised standard for access demonstrates a policy change regarding private antitrust enforcement. EU policy makers and the courts have begun to moderate the principle of effective redress as expressed in Courage and Manfredi. In order to minimize repercussions for public enforcement they reduce the incentives for claimants to bring follow-on damages actions.
Albert Foer, American Antitrust Institute (AAI) provides thoughts On the Inefficiencies of Efficiency as the Single-Minded Goal of Antitrust.
ABSTRACT: Prepared as background for the AAI’s June 18-19 conferences on efficiency, this paper provides an overview of issues relating to the role of efficiency in antitrust, considering the various types of efficiency (allocative, productive, and dynamic) and the conflict of priorities that may exist among these three types; the breadth of economics and economists, and a comparison of the Chicago School version of economics with what is commonly taught in business schools; the role of efficiency in today’s antitrust analysis; and a discussion of what is excluded from today’s analysis, with an emphasis on non-efficiency economic values, including a discussion of externalities and inefficiencies such as X-inefficiency, diseconomies of scale, scope, and coordination, and the too-big-to-fail problem. The paper considers problems of prediction and quantification in the context of possible reforms and concludes that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of efficiency, but that reforms encompassing a broader view present their own difficulties, leading to the suggestion that if efficiency is to retain a formal role in analysis, then there should be both more development of the concept of what is a cognizable efficiency and also development of the concept of cognizable inefficiency, which in situations involving high levels of concentration, should be netted out against efficiencies.
Yoshiya Usami, American Antitrust Institute (AAI) asks Why Did They Cross the Pacific? Extradition: A Real Threat to Cartelists?
ABSTRACT: On January 31, 2014, the DOJ added trophies to its list of achievements from the more than three-year long investigation into the auto parts cartels. A former president and a vice president of a Japan-based corporation agreed to plead guilty for their participation in a conspiracy to fix the price of auto parts. Including these two individuals, the DOJ has already brought charges against twenty six corporations and twenty nine individuals, most of whom are Japanese nationals. For reasons described in this paper, some Japanese antitrust practitioners are puzzled by this U.S. enforcement against Japanese nationals. Extradition to the U.S. may not have been a real threat. Nonetheless, more than twenty Japanese executives and employees decided to leave Japan to serve prison terms in the U.S. Why did they choose to cross the Pacific? How functional is the DOJ’s extradition tool? This Working Paper focuses on a relatively unfamiliar area for the antitrust community: the usefulness of extradition in the context of cartel enforcement against Japanese nationals who have not voluntarily surrendered to the U.S. jurisdiction.