Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Book Review: Michal Gal on Eleanor M. Fox and Mor Bakhoum, Making Markets Work for Africa (Oxford 2019)

Book Review of Eleanor M. Fox and Mor Bakhoum, Making Markets Work for Africa (Oxford, 2019), by Prof. Michal S. Gal


Eleanor Fox and Mor Bakhoum’s new book, Making Markets Work for Africa (Oxford University Press, 2019), is a tour de force study of the interaction between markets, development, and competition law in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a must read for anyone interested in competition law in developing jurisdictions.


Fox and Bakhoum, both world-renowned experts on competition law in developing jurisdictions, combine their unique talents, knowledge and expertise to offer us an in-depth analysis of the challenges faced by sub-Saharan jurisdictions in making their markets work. Their book not only analyzes in a systematic manner the unique features of Sub-Saharan countries, but also offers thoughtful and thought-provoking insights and suggestions, both at the local as well as at the global level.


The book is comprised of two main parts. The first focuses on three groups of states in sub-Saharan Africa, based on their location and shared history. The socioeconomic characteristics of the different jurisdictions are carefully analyzed, as well as their history of market control mechanisms, and the content and application of their competition laws. Regional competition law agreements are then analyzed, focusing on their huge potential benefits and their internal limitations.  One of the many strengths of this part is its ability to use country-specific examples to reach boarder observations.


The second part then offers a roadmap towards more workable markets. To do so, Professors Fox and Bakhoum define four groups of countries, based on their level of development, from least developing jurisdictions to developed jurisdictions. The analysis enables them to highlight the different challenges faced by each group, as well as the difficulties in applying a one-size-fits-all competition law to all jurisdictions. The authors then offer numerous insightful and important suggestions on how to design competition laws in a way which would best serve developing and least developing jurisdictions in Africa. Some suggestions, such as giving priority to agriculture and infrastructure, or devising tools to limit the control of government cronies which do not serve consumers, are widely accepted. Other thoughtful suggestions, such as reconsidering the application of the “as-efficient” test as the benchmark for exclusionary foreclosures, or defining markets in a way which takes into account the level of development of the market, might require the reader to challenge his assumptions about how competition law should be applied in developing jurisdictions. The analysis is both important and novel.


Despite the fact that the book focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, it has much boarder implications, and many of its insights and suggestions are relevant to all, or at least most, developing jurisdictions around the world. Accordingly, anyone interested in competition law in developing jurisdictions will surely benefit from this book. It will appeal to newcomers in the field, as well as to those long involved in the field, who seek a fresh and highly thoughtful analysis of the relevant challenges.



Prof. Michal S. Gal, University of Haifa Faculty of Law, and president of ASCOLA.

May 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

14th ASCOLA Conference, Aix-en-Provence Faculty of Law June 27– 29 June 2019

14th ASCOLA Conference
Aix-en-Provence Faculty of Law
June 27– 29 June 2019

+ Breakout Sessions on Wider Competition Law Issues

THURSDAY June 27, 2019 [Amphithéâtre FAVOREU, Espace CASSIN]

1:00-2:00pm Ascola Board Meeting (members of the board only)

1:30-2:00pm Registration and coffee

2:00-3:00pm Welcome by Michal Gal (ASCOLA Chair), David Bosco (Aix-Marseille University) and Mathias Pigeat (French Competition Authority).

Teaching Competition Law
Moderator: Michal Gal (Haifa)
Panelists: Simonetta Vezzoso (Trento); Bill Kovacic (George Washington); Spencer Weber Waller (Loyola); Rupprecht Pozdun (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Juliana Oliveira Domingues (University of Sao Paolo)

3:00-4:15pm Plenary Panel I
Panel Chair: David Bosco (Aix-Marseille University)
John M. Newman (Miami University), ‘Attention and the Law’
Ioannis Lianos (University College London), ‘Polycentric Competition Law’
William E. Kovacic (George Washington University), ‘History, Learning, and Policy Implementation: The Case of Competition Policy’
4:15-4:45pm Coffee break [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

4:45-6:15 pm Breakout Sessions I (see below)

6:30-7:15pm Expert Panel: Current Economic Challenges at the basis of Competition Law
Jorge Padilla (Lexecon) and Giacomo Calzolari (EUI)

7:15-8:15pm Welcome reception [Salle des ACTES & Patio]
FRIDAY June 28, 2019 [Amphithéâtre FAVOREU, Espace CASSIN]

8:00-9:00am Breakfast [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

9:00-11:00am Breakout sessions II (see below)

11:00-11:30am Coffee break Poster Session I [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

11:30- 13:00pm Plenary Panel II
Panel chair: Josef Drexl (Max Plack)
Stavros Makris (SciencePo and EUI), ‘Openness and Integrity in Modern Antitrust’
Marc Bourreau & Alexandre de Streel (Telecom Paris Tech; University of Namur), ‘Digital Conglomerates and EU Competition Policy’
Omar Vasquez Duque (Stanford), ‘No Alarms and Many Surprises: Salience as a Basis for Excessive Pricing Intervention in an Antitrust Context’
Wolfgang Kerber (Philipps University Marburg), ‘Internet of Things, Governance of (and Access to) Data from a Competition Policy Perspective’
13:00-2:00pm Lunch [Grand Hall, Bâtiment POUILLON]

2:00-4:00pm Breakout sessions III (see below)

4:00-4:30pm Coffee break [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

4:30-5:45pm Plenary Panel III
Panel chair: Paul Nihoul (Louvain)
Vikas Kathuria and Jure Globocnik (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), ‘Exclusionary Conduct in Data-Driven Markets: Limitations of Data Sharing Remedy’
Viktoria H. S. E. Robertson (University of Graz), ‘Excessive Data Collection: Privacy Considerations and Abuse of Dominance in the Era of Big Data’
Dirk Auer & Geoffrey Manne (Liege Competition and Innovation Institute; International Center for Law & Economics), ‘The Antitrust Dystopia: The Case of Big Data Competition’
5:45-6:30pm General Assembly of all ASCOLA Members
Presentation of 2020 conference by Sofia Pais (Porto)

7:00-9:00pm Dinner [MAS D’ENTREMONT Restaurant] ]partly funded by ASCOLA]
Keynote: Eric Posner (Chicago) “Why Has Antitrust Law Failed Workers?: The Problem of Labor Monopsony”

Best Junior Paper and Special ASCOLA Contribution Awards

SATURDAY June 29, 2019 [Amphithéâtre FAVOREU, Espace CASSIN]

8:00-9:00am Breakfast [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

9:00-11:00am Breakout Sessions IV (see below)

11:00-11:30am Coffee break and Poster Session II [Hall, Espace CASSIN]

11:30-1:00pm Plenary Panel IV
Panel chair: Laurence Idot (Paris II)
Spencer Weber Waller (Loyola University Chicago), ‘Antitrust and the Omega man’
Shlipi Bhattacharyia (University of Rotterdam), ‘Management Studies, Firm Rationality & The Law of Predatory Pricing’
Theodosia Stavroulaki (University of Michigan), ‘Mergers that Harm our Health’
Edith Loozen (University of Bologna), ‘Strict Competition Enforcement Is the Way Forward – Also to Promote Sustainable Consumption and Production’
Short Conclusions
Michal Gal (ASCOLA Chair) and David Bosco (Aix-Marseille University)
1:30-2-30pm lunch (optional, 15 euros) [Restaurant, near the faculty]
2:30pm Trip (optional, 10 euros)
Visit of the beautiful CHÂTEAU LA COSTE
2750 Route de La Cride, 13610 Le Puy Sainte Réparade
Walk the trail among vineyards and art pieces, visit Art & Architecture and the wine cellar designed by Jean Nouvel, and enjoy a tasting of wines of the domain

Breakout Session I (panels 1-5) (Return to main program)
Thursday, June 27, 4:45-6:15pm
Some of the papers will also be presented in Poster Session I

Panel 1: Competition law in the digital environment [Salle 1.02- PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Thomas Cheng (University of Hong Kong)
Rupprecht Podszun (Dusseldorf), Let the Customer Decide! Taking Back Control from Ecosystems and Gatekeepers – An Exploration of the Value of Decentralised Decision-Making for Markets’
Margherita Colangelo & Mariateresa Maggiolino (University of Roma), ‘Manipulation of Information as an Antitrust Infringement’
Andrés Boix-Palop (Universitat de Valencia), ‘Competitive Risks in the Sharing Economy and European Union Market Regulation’

Panel 2: Mergers [Salle 1.15- PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Bjorn Lundqvist (Stockholm)
Jörg Hoffmann and German Johannsen (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), ‘Remedies in Data-Related Merger Cases’
Wolfgang Kerber (Marburg) and Simonetta Vezzoso (UniTrento Digital University), ‘Dow/DuPont: Another Step Towards a Proper Assessment Concept of Innovation Effects of Mergers’
Oliver Budzinski and Annika Stör (Ilmenau), ‘Non-Economic Aspects in Merger Control: Public Interest Considerations in Europe and Germany’
Yajie Gao and Wei Han (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Merger Control in China’s Digital Economy: Challenges and Prospects’

Panel 3: Big Data, Data Rights and Competition Law [Salle 1.13- PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Ioannis Lianos (University College London
Oscar Borgogno (Turin) and Giuseppe Colangelo (Basilicata), ‘Data Sharing and Interoperability: Fostering Innovation and Competition Through APIs’
Peter Georg Picht (Vienna) ‘The Role of Competition Law, Data Portability and Regulation in Framing the Access to Digital Resources in Connected Mobility and Other Market Sectors’
Giulia Ferrari (Bocconi), ‘Data Misuse and the Interplay Between Competition, Privacy and Consumer Protection: An Overview of the Recent Italian and German Cases’
Panel 4: Competition Law and the Digital Environment II [Salle 1.12 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Rafael Amaro (Paris Descartes University)
Stavros Makris (SciencePo and EUI) and Alexandre Ruiz Feases (University College London), ‘Experimentalist EU Antitrust and Digital Competition’
Argyri Panezi (Stanford), ‘Digitization Rush: Claiming New Territories in the Digital Space’
Can Atik (Tilburg), ‘Data Portability in Digital Agriculture Sector: A Proposal to Address a Novel Challenge’
Jan Kupcik, Conscious Parallelism in Digital Markets Optics
Panel 5: Globalization and Competition Law [Salle G.CAS , Espace CASSIN]
Panel chair: Bill Kovacic (George Washington University)
Chris Townley, Maria Tavares and Mattia Guidi (King's College London), ‘Influence in the International Competition Network: Who Seeks It, How Do They Do This and Why?’
Galyna Kostiukevych (Columbia University), ‘Using Trade Tools to Counteract Anticompetitive Conduct Within Global Value Chains: Competition Chapters in Trade Agreements’
Alexandr Svetlicinii (Macau), ‘Levelling the Playing Field: Time to Reconsider the Treatment of China’s State-Owned Undertakings in EU Competition Law?’
Wendy Ng (Melbourne), ‘Changing Global Dynamics and International Competition Law: Considering China’s Potential Impact’

Breakout Session II (panels 6-10) (Return to main program)
Friday, June 28 9:00-11:00am
Some of the papers will also be presented in Poster Session I

Panel 6: Competition law and New Technologies [Salle 1.02 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Wolfgang Kerber (Philipps University Marburg)
Thibault Schrepel (Utrecht), ‘Collusion by Blockchain and Smart Contracts’
Michal S. Gal (Haifa), ‘Antitrust Implications of 3D Printing’
Salil K. Mehra (Temple), ‘Antitrust Without Markets’
Oles Andriychuk (Strathclyde), ‘Net Neutrality and Disruptive Innovation: Challenging the Conventional Antitrust Discourse’
Inge Graef (Tilburg), ‘Consumer Sovereignty and the Need for Personalised Antitrust’

Panel 7: Remedies and Private Actions [Salle 1.15 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Dennis Davis
Or Brook (Leeds), ‘Has EU Competition Law Lost its Bite? A Hard Look on How “Soft” Enforcement Undermined the Basic Conventions and Goals of EU Competition Law’
Sofia Oliveira Pais & Catarina Vieira Peres (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa), “Against Whom Can Damages for Competition Law Infringements Be Claimed?”
Penelope Alexia Giosa (East Anglia), ‘Debarment, Self-Cleaning and Leniency: Friends or Foes?’
Eugenio Olmedo-Peralta (Malaga), ‘The Evidential Effect of Commitment Decisions in Damage Claims. What’s the Assumptive Value of a Pledge?’
Malgorzata Kozak (Utrecht), ‘Finding the Equilibrium and Convergence between the Dominating Public Enforcement and Private Enforcement of Competition Law. The Damage Directive is not Enough’
Panel 8: Platforms and Ownership [Salle 1.12 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Fabiana Di Porto (University of Salento)
Caio Mario Da Silva Pereira Neto (Sao Paulo) and Filipo Maria Lancieri (Chicago), ‘Ohio v. Amex and Antitrust in Multi-sided Markets: A Multi-layered Approach To Relevant Markets in Two-sided Transaction Platforms’
Julian Nowag (University of Lund), ‘The Evolving Conception of the Firm and the Future of the Public Policy and Competition Law Interaction’
Frédéric Marty & Julien Pillot (CNRS and Precepta), ‘Cooperation, Dependence and Eviction’
Rob Nicholls and Deniz Kayis (University of New South Wales), ‘Common Corporate Owners, Concerted Corporate Actions?’

Panel 9: Agreements in Restraint of Trade [Salle 1.13 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Valeria Falce (European University of Rome)
Thomas Cheng (University of Hong Kong), ‘A Consumer Behavioral Approach to Resale Price Maintenance’
Melanie Ariane Schwaderer (University of Erfurt), ‘RPM is Not Generally Benign: Challenging the “Economic Consensus” on the Economic Effects of Resale Price Maintenance’
Patrick Actis Perinetto, ‘Competition Law Uncertainty and The Weight of Intent in Article 101 TFEU Assessment – The Case of Hub-and-Spoke Exchanges of Information’
Andres Calderon (Universidad del Pacifico), ‘Cartels’ Little Helpers: A Comparative Study of the Case Law Regarding the Facilitators of Collusion in South America’

Panel 10: European Competition Law Developments [Salle G.CAS , Espace CASSIN]
Panel chair: Rupprecht Podzun (Heinrich Heine University)
Peter Thalmann (University of Vienna), ‘The More Economic Approach and its Divergent Manifestations in EU Antitrust and State Aid Law’
Kati J. Cseres (University of Amsterdam), ‘A Case – Study of Hungary and its Implications for EU Law’
Anne C. Witt (University of Leicester), ‘The European Court of Justice and the More Economic Approach to EU Competition Law – Is the Tide Turning?
Kathryn McMahon (University of Warwick), ‘‘Modern Economic Theory’ or ‘Back to the Stone Age’? The Role of the European Courts in Article 102 Adjudication’
Breakout Session III (panels 11-15) (Return to main program)
Friday, June 28 2:00-4:00pm
Some of the papers will also be presented in Poster Session II

Panel 11: Goals of Competition Law [Salle 1.12 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Michal Gal (Haifa)
Konstantina Bania, ‘The Role of Media Pluralism in the Enforcement of EU Competition Law’
Dina I. Waked (Sciences Po), ‘A Genealogy of Antitrust as Public Interest Law, 1890-1980’
Niamh Dunne (London School of Economics) ‘Unpicking Hipster Antitrust (or, The Goals of Antitrust Redux)’
Giacomo Tagiuri (Bocconi), ‘Aiding Small Businesses in the Name of Plurality: Towards a Liberal Defense’
Aurelien Portuese (George Mason), ‘Antitrust Populism Conceptualized’

Panel 12: Competition Law in Developing Economies [Salle 1.02 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Juliana Oliveira Domingues (Brazil)
Francisco Beneke (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), “Market Power and Entry Analysis in Developing Countries’
Claudia Patricia O'Kane (Utah), ‘Transplants and Commonalities Among Latin American Countries’
Mustapa Khamal Rokan (University of North Sumatera), ‘The Goals of Competition Law and Small Market in Indonesia’
Rachid El Bazzim (University Hassan 1er Morroco), ‘Why Should the Competition Council be Independent?’
Juan David Gutiérrez (Blavatnik School of Government), ‘Metering Antitrust Authorities: How Performance Measurement is Implemented in the Americas’

Panel 13: Dominant Firm Conduct [Salle 1.15 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Valeria Falce (European University of Rome)
Ittai Paldor (Hebrew University), ‘Challenging the Fundamentals of Exclusivity: Substantial Foreclosure as a Competitive Safeguard’
Miroslava Marinova (Reading), ‘What Can We Learn About the Application of the As Efficient Competitor Test in Fidelity Rebate Cases from the Recent US Case Law?’
Victoria Daskalova (Twente), ‘ Stricter Unilateral Conduct Laws: Innovative Responses to Gaps in the Competition Law Framework?’
Stephen Dnes, ‘Technological Tying: Unbundling the Assumptions’
Tommaso Landolfo (Sapienza University of Rome), ‘New Perspectives on the Abuse of Dominant Position: The Amazon Case’

Panel 14: Algorithms and Market Power [Salle 1.13 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Ioannis Lianos (University College London)
Francisco Beneke and Mark-Oliver Mackenrodt (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition), ‘Remedies for Algorithmic Collusion’
 Ina Fey, ‘The Application of Current Antitrust Law to Explicit Collusion by Autonomously Acting Pricing Algorithms’
Nicolo Zingales (Sussex), ‘Scrutinizing individual-level market power’
Jan Blockx (Antwerp), ‘Revaluing the Role of Intent Evidence in Antitrust Law’
Panel 15: Institutions and Procedures [Salle G.CAS , Espace CASSIN]
Panel chair: Frederic Marty (Nice University)
Paul Nihoul (UCLouvain), ‘The Role of Judges in Antitrust’
Francisco Marcos (IE Law School), ‘Competition Authorities as Inimicus Curiae? Friends or Enemies of Courts in Private Antitrust Claims”
Mark Williams (University of Melbourne), ‘China’s Competition Enforcement Institutions: A Failure of Design’
Carmen Rodilla Marti (Valencia), “The Control Over the Discretional Power of European Competition Authorities: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?’
Soojin Nam (Hankuk) ‘Due Process in Competition Proceedings: Misguided Demands
for Adversarial Adjudication?’

Breakout Session IV (panels 16-20) (Return to main program)
Saturday, June 29 9:00-11:00am
Some of the papers will also be presented in Poster Session II

Panel 16: General Challenges to Current Enforcement [Salle 1.12 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Peter Picht (Vienna)
Michel Ristaniemi (Berkeley), ‘Incentivizing Competition Compliance’
Ramsi A. Woodock (Kentucki), ‘Doubt and Action in Antitrust’
Deborah Healey (University of New South Wales), ‘Paradigms for Competitive Neutrality: Interrogating Law and Policy’
Jasminka Pecotic Kaufman (Zagreb), ‘On the Development of (Not So) New Competition Systems – Findings from an Empirical Study’
Jan Broulik (Jean Monnet Center), ‘Cultural Capture of Competition Policy by Business Interests’
Panel 17: Exploitative Abuses [Salle 1.13 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Francisco Marcos (IE Law School)
Marco Botta (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition) and Alexandre de Streel (Namour), ‘What is “Fair” and “Reasonable”? Lessons on the Concept of FRAND From EU Competition Policy and Electronic Communications Regulation’
Miriam C. Buiten (Universitat Mannheim), ‘Reconfiguring Exploitative Abuses for Digital Markets’
Sangyun Lee and Jan Schißler (Korean University), ‘Platform Dependence and Exploitation’
Zeynep Ayata (Koç University), ‘Excessive Pricing in a Multisided Platform: The Turkish Competition Authority’s Decision’
Jasper P. Sluijs (University of Utrecht), ‘Commercial Subsidiaries of Public Entities and the Limits of EU Competition Law’
Panel 18: Challenging Competition Law Assumptions [Salle 1.15 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Maria Teresa Maggioliano (Bocconi )
George Raitt (Monash), ‘Market Power and the Paradigm of Competition’
Andriani Kalintiri (University of London), ‘On Presumptions, Premises and Proxies in EU Competition Enforcement’
Claudio Lombardi (KIMEP University), ‘Assumptions, Presumptions, and Inferferences in Competition Law Enforcement’
Masako Wakui (Osaka City University) and Johnathan Galloway (Newcastle University, ‘Revisiting the Japanese Enforcement System: Challenging Norms and Orthodoxy’
Sih Yuliana Wahyuningtyas (University of Java), ‘Best Price Guarantee: Examining the Effect of Harms to Competition’
Panel 19: Goals of Competition Law [Salle G.CAS , Espace CASSIN]
Panel chair: David Bosco (Aix en Provence)
Sandra Marco Colino (Chinese University of Hong Kong), ‘The Antitrust F Word: Fairness Considerations in Competition Law’
Elias Deutscher (University of East Anglia), ‘Competition and Democracy – An Analytical Framework’
Konstantinos Stylianou (Leeds) and Marios Iacovides (Stockholm), ‘Goals and Purposes of Competition Law: What Does the Data Say?’
Xiaomin Fang (Chinese Academy of Sciences), ‘Multiple Goals of Competition Law and their Achievement from Comparative Perspective of Chinese, German and European Law’
Beata Mäihiäniemi (University of Helsinki), ‘Classifying Information as ‘Commons’ as a Tool to Enable Fairness as a Goal of Antitrust’

Panel 20: The Intersection of Competition Law and Other Policies [Salle 1.02 - PORTALIS]
Panel chair: Josef Drexl (Max Planck Institute for Competition and Innovation)
Fabiana Di Porto (Salento) and Gustavo Ghidini (Statale di Milano), ‘Access to Account (XS2A) Rule in the Payment Service Market: A Competition Law Assessment With a Proposal’
Valeria Falce (University of Rome), ’EU Fight Against Geofactors, Towards a “Circular” Interplay Between Regulation and Competition’
Toshiaki Takigawa (Osaka), ‘How to Address Patent Holdup and Holdout in Standard-Essential-Patent Licensing: The Japanese Approach in Global Context’
Hedvig Schmidt (Southampton), ‘EU Competition Law and IP Rights: PAEs, an Example of the Interface Being Misaligned’
Claudia Seitz (Basel), ‘Strong and Weak Rights and the Challenge of Assumptions – How to Assess the Anti-Competitive Effects of a Settlement Agreement in the Pharmaceutical Sector if You Don’t Know the Value of the Patent?’

May 25, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 24, 2019

FDI and International Collusion

By: Uday Bhanu Sinha (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics)
Abstract: We develop a supergame model of collusion between price-setting oligopolists when the trade between countries involves per-unit trade cost and FDI requires a fixed cost of setting up a subsidiary in a foreign country. We demonstrate that cross hauling of FDI may facilitate collusion based on territorial allocation of markets. Whenever FDI is not helpful for sustaining collusion, the collusive arrangement involves no FDI at all. With asymmetric number of home firms or with different sizes of the markets, FDI may facilitate international collusion at lower levels of trade costs and thus our analysis also throws some light on the empirical puzzle regarding the trade liberalisation and FDI flows observed since the 1990s.
Keywords: Foreign direct investment, collusion, multimarket contact, cross hauling of FDI, price competition, homogenous good.

May 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Firms’ Markup, Cost, and Price Changes when Policymakers Permit Collusion: Does Antitrust Immunity Matter?

By: Gayle, PhilipXie, Xin
Abstract: Airlines wanting to cooperatively set prices for their international air travel service must apply to the relevant authorities for antitrust immunity (ATI). Whether consumers, on net, benefit from a grant of ATI to partner airlines has caused much public debate. This paper investigates the impact of granting ATI to oneworld alliance members on their price, markup, and various measures of cost. The evidence suggests that implementation of the oneworld alliance without ATI did not have a statistically significant impact on the markup of products offered by the members, and there is no evidence that the subsequent grant of ATI to various members resulted in higher markups on their products. We find evidence suggesting that the grant of ATI facilitated a decrease in partner carriers’ marginal and fixed costs. Furthermore, member carriers’ price did not increase (decreased) in markets where their services do (do not) overlap, implying that consumers, on net, benefit from the grant of ATI in terms of price changes.

May 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inequality and market concentration, when shareholding is more skewed than consumption

By: Joshua GansAndrew LeighMartin SchmalzAdam Triggs
Abstract: Economic theory suggests that monopoly prices hurt consumers but benefit shareholders. But in a world where individuals or households can be both consumers and shareholders, the impact of market power on inequality depends in part on the relative distribution of consumption and corporate equity ownership across individuals or households. The paper calculates this distribution for the United States, using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances and the Consumer Expenditure Survey, spanning nearly three decades from 1989 to 2016. In 2016, the top 20 percent consumed approximately as much as the bottom 60 percent, but had 13 times as much corporate equity. Because ownership is more skewed than consumption, increased mark-ups increase inequality. Moreover, over time, corporate equity has become even more skewed relative to consumption.

May 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Empirical investigation of retail gasoline prices

By: Bergantino, Angela StefaniaCapozza, ClaudiaIntini, Mario
Abstract: This paper explores the nature of price variation in the retail gasoline sector with a novel approach. An empirical model is proposed that jointly analyses: i) the spatial interaction between stations in price setting; ii) the direct and the indirect effect of local competition on prices; iii) the role of territorial factors, generally neglected in the studies on gasoline prices. For all these purposes, variables at sub-municipal level are constructed. The results of the empirical model, tested on the city of Rome, confirm the spatial price interaction across stations. Moreover, evidence of direct and indirect effects of local competition on prices is found: the competitive forces acting in the gasoline sector are not bounded within a local market but they spill over across local markets. Micro-territorial variables turn out to have a sizeable influence on prices, particularly the real estate value. When these variables are added to the model, the strength of spatial interaction weakens. This suggests that including micro-territorial variables in the empirical specification strongly contributes to explain the variation of gasoline prices and to accurately detect the spatial dependence.

May 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Complementary Monopolies with Asymmetric Information

By: Didier Laussel (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE); Joana Resende (Economics Department, University of Porto)
Abstract: We investigate how asymmetric information on final demand affects strategic interaction between a downstream monopolist and a set of up-stream monopolists, who independently produce complementary inputs. We study an intrinsic private common agency game in which each supplier i independently proposes a pricing schedule contract to the assembler, specifying the supplier's payment as a function of the assembler's purchase of input i. We provide a necessary and sufficient equilibrium condition. A lot of equilibria satisfy this condition but there is a unique Pareto-undominated Nash equilibrium from the suppliers' point of view. In this equilibrium there are unavoidable efficiency losses due to excessively low sales of the good. However, suppliers may be able to limit these distortions by implicitly coordinating on an equilibrium with a rigid (positive) output in bad demand circumstances.

May 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hospital Competition in the National Health Service: Evidence from a Patient Choice Reform

By: Brekke, Kurt R. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Canta, Chiara (Toulouse Business School); Straume, Odd Rune (University of Bergen, Department of Economics and University of Minho, Department of Economics/NIPE); Siciliani, Luigi(University of York)
Abstract: We study the impact of exposing hospitals in a National Health Service (NHS) to non-price competition by exploiting a patient choice reform in Norway in 2001. The reform facilitates a difference-in-difference research design due to geographical variation in the scope for competition. Using rich administrative data covering the universe of NHS hospital admissions from 1998 to 2005, we find that hospitals in more competitive areas have a sharper reduction in AMI mortality, readmissions, and length of stay than hospitals in less competitive areas. These results indicate that competition improves patient health outcomes and hospital cost efficiency, even in the Norwegian NHS with large distances, low fixed treatment prices, and mainly public hospitals.

May 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Criminal Networks, Market Externalities and Optimal Leniency

By: Giovanni Immordino (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Salvatore Piccolo (Università di Bergamo and CSEF); Paolo Roberti (Università di Bergamo)
Abstract: We analyze the relationship between competition and self-reporting incentives within a criminal network formed by a supplier of an illegal good and two dealers distributing the good to final consumers. The Legislator designs a leniency program to deter crime. We show that the comparison between the optimal amnesty with competition and monopoly in the dealership market depends on the strength of the externalities between dealers at the reporting stage. While in monopoly a leniency program is al- ways feasible, the opposite may happen with competition. This impossibility result is more relevant when the demand for the illegal product is large, when the market is neither too competitive nor too concentrated and when dealers know too much about each other. Moreover, in contrast to monopoly, the policy does not necessarily increase welfare in a competitive environment.

May 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Collusion and Antitrust Filings over the Business Cycle

By: Hashmat Khan (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Matthew Strathearn (Department of Economics, Carleton University)
Abstract: We develop and test a novel prediction of the theory of collusion over the business cycle. Building on Haltiwanger and Harrington (1991), we present a model of collusive behaviour in the presence of persistent demand and an Antitrust Authority (AA) in a Cournot framework. The level of collusion is higher during a boom relative to a recession as collusion occurs more frequently when demand is increasing (entering into a collusive arrangement is more profitable and deviating from an existing cartel is less profitable). The model predicts that the number of discovered cartels and hence an- titrust filings should be procyclical because the level of collusion is procyclical. Using a unique data set of United States Antitrust filings, we present robust evidence con- sistent with the model's prediction. We find that antitrust filings are procyclical even after controlling for AA's monitoring intensity. The evidence suggests that procyclical competition policies may be a cost minimizing solution to asymmetries in collusive behaviour over the business cycle.

May 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Capacity precommitment, communication, and collusive pricing: Theoretical benchmark and experimental evidence

By: Güth, WernerStadler, ManfredZaby, Alexandra
Abstract: In a capacity-then-price-setting game we experimentally identify capacity precommitment, the possibility to communicate before price choices, and prior competition experience as crucial factors for collusive pricing. The theoretical analysis determines the capacity thresholds above which firms have an incentive to coordinate on higher prices. The experimental data reveals that such intra-play communication after capacity but before price choices has a collusive effect only for capacity levels exceeding these thresholds. Subjects with high capacities generally choose higher prices when they have the possibility to communicate. Asymmetry in capacity choices decreases the truthfulness of price messages as well as the probability to coordinate on the same price.

May 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can Partial Horizontal Ownership Lessen Competition More Than a Monopoly?

By: Duarte Brito (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia | Center for Advanced Studies in Management and Economics); Ricardo Ribeiro (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School); Helder Vasconcelos (Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia and Center for Economics and Finance)
Abstract: In this paper we investigate the anti-competitive e¤ects of partial horizontal ownership in a setting where: (i) two cost-asymmetric ?rms compete à la Cournot; (ii) managers deal with eventual con?icting interests of the di¤erent shareholders by maximizing a weighted sum of rms?operating pro?ts; and (iii) weights result from the corporate control structure of the ?rm they run. Within this theoretical structure, we ?nd that if the manager of the more e¢ cient rm weights the operating pro?t of the (ine¢ cient) rival more than its own pro?t, then partial ownership can lessen competition more than a monopoly.

May 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Measuring the Welfare of Intermediaries in Vertical Markets

By: Donna, Javier D.Pereira, PedroPires, TiagoTrindade, Andre
Abstract: We empirically investigate the welfare of intermediaries in oligopolistic markets, where intermediaries offer additional services. We exploit the unique circumstance that, in our empirical setting, consumers can purchase from manufacturers or intermediaries. We specify an equilibrium model, and estimate it using product-level data. The demand includes consumers with costly search and channel-specific preferences. The supply includes two distribution channels. One features bargaining about wholesale prices between manufacturers and intermediaries, and price competition among intermediaries. The other is vertically integrated. The model is used to simulate counterfactuals, where intermediaries do not offer additional services. We find that intermediaries increase welfare.
Keywords: Intermediaries, vertical markets, search frictions, bargaining, outdoor advertising

May 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Horizontal Mergers and Innovation in Concentrated Industries

By: Hollenbeck, Brett
Abstract: The relationship between mergers and the long run rate of innovation is an open question in antitrust economics. I develop a framework to examine this in a dynamic oligopoly model with endogenous investment, entry, exit and horizontal mergers. Firms produce vertically differentiated goods and may merge with rival firms to gain market power and potentially increase the quality of their product. I extend previous work on dynamic mergers by allowing for products differentiated on quality with competition in prices and an endogenous long run rate of innovation. In equilibrium, horizontal mergers are almost entirely harmful to consumers in the short run, but the prospect of a buyout creates a powerful incentive for firms to preemptively enter the industry and invest to make themselves an attractive merger partner. The result is significantly higher rate of innovation with mergers than without and significantly higher long-run consumer welfare as well. Further results explore the circumstances under which this result is likely to hold. In order for the long run increase in innovation to outweigh the short run harm to consumers caused by mergers, entry costs must be low, entrants and incumbents must both have the ability to innovate rapidly, and the degree of horizontal product differentiation must be low. Alternatively, when mergers can generate innovation directly by allowing firms to combine their products they typically benefit consumers in both the short run and long run.

May 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Timing of entry with heterogeneous firms

By: Smirnov, VladimirWait, AndrewXu, Rong
Abstract: We examine entry in a market-entry timing model. Early entry allows a firm to enjoy a higher instantaneous post-entry pro t, while later entry has the benefi t of lower entry costs. In our model, firms can be asymmetric in terms of costs. Specifically, a more efficient rm enters with lower present value of costs. First, we show that entry order is always efficient in the duopoly game while in the triopoly model an efficient entry order could be violated. Moreover, one of the most notable results is that in the triopoly model we generate the necessary condition for an efficient order of entry. In addition, we explore how the rents earned by duopolists relative to a monopolist (the structure of pro ts in the market) impact the order of entry. These results would be useful for future empirical studies of market entry. Furthermore, our paper investigates the welfare implications of the entry in equilibrium by exploring the dynamics of the initial entry time in duopoly and triopoly markets. Previous studies found that the leader's time of entry is typically inefficiently too late. Our results show that unlike in the symmetric case, in the presence of asymmetric fi rms, fi rst entry is not necessarily inefficiently delayed, especially in markets with higher duopoly effects (which capture duopoly rents relative to those for a monopolist) and with fi rms that are more differentiated. This result implies that encouraging an extra fi rm to enter in an oligopolistic market could shorten the period consumers have to wait for new products, and potentially increase social welfare.

May 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Unwired Planet Act 2: The Return of the FRAND Range

Giuseppe Colangelo, University of Basilicata, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics; Stanford Law School; LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Business and Management; Bocconi University - Department of Law and Gianluca Scaramuzzino describes Unwired Planet Act 2: The Return of the FRAND Range.

ABSTRACT: On 23 October 2018 the Court of Appeal of England and Wales delivered its judgement on Unwired Planet v Huawei Technologies. Even though the claims brought by Huawei were rejected, the Court reached a different conclusion from that of Mr Justice Birss on the question of whether there can be only one set of FRAND terms for any given set of circumstances. Namely, the Court noted that “concepts such as fairness and reasonableness do not sit easily with such a rigid approach” and “a number of sets of terms may all be fair and reasonable in a given set of circumstances.” Indeed, patent licences are complex and, having regard to the commercial priorities of the participating undertakings and the experience and preferences of the individuals involved, may be structured in different ways. Hence, it is “unreal” to suggest that two parties, acting fairly and reasonably, will necessarily arrive at precisely the same set of licence terms as two other parties, also acting fairly and reasonably and faced with the same set of circumstances.

The European Commission, the CJEU and national courts all share the view that parties to a SEP licensing agreement are in the best position to determine the terms most appropriate to their specific situation. Nevertheless, the Unwired saga has shown that different views on the way the parties should negotiate are always just around the corner.

The ongoing debate about the formula used to calculate FRAND royalties falls outside the scope of this paper, which instead aims at analysing how the Unwired decisions are linked to the legal interpretation of the Huawei licensing etiquette as far as the dichotomy between the single rate approach and FRAND range determination is concerned.

May 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Prima Facie Evidence in Cartel Damages Litigation – Landmark Decision by the German Federal Court of Justice in the Rail Cartel Case

Christian Ritz; Carolin Marx; Manuel Bogenreuther offer Prima Facie Evidence in Cartel Damages Litigation – Landmark Decision by the German Federal Court of Justice in the Rail Cartel Case.

ABSTRACT: The German Federal Court of Justice’s (in German ‘Bundesgerichtshof’, short ‘FCJ’) last ruling1 on a competition law case of 2018 attracted a lot of attention and some surprise amongst practitioners. On 11 December 2018, the FCJ’s Cartel Panel handed down a landmark decision regarding private competition law enforcement. The decision dealt with the applicability of the principle of prima facie evidence (in German ‘Anscheinsbeweis’) regarding causation of damages.


May 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Antitrust Prohibition of Excessive Pricing

David Gilo and Yossi Spiegel (both Tel Aviv University) describe The Antitrust Prohibition of Excessive Pricing.

ABSTRACT: Excessive pricing by a dominant firm is unlawful in many countries. To assess whether it is excessive, the dominant firm’s price is often compared with price benchmarks. We examine the competitive implications of two such benchmarks: a retrospective benchmark where the price that prevails after a rival enters the market is used to assess whether the dominant firm’s pre-entry price was excessive, and a contemporaneous benchmark, where the dominant firm’s price is compared with the price that the firm charges contemporaneously in another market. We show that the two benchmarks restrain the dominant firm’s behavior when it acts as a monopoly, but soften competition when the dominant firm competes with a rival. Moreover, a retrospective benchmark promotes entry, but may lead to inefficient entry.

May 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Antitrust New Frontiers: The Digital Economy and Economic Concentration, 11 June 2019

Antitrust New Frontiers: The Digital Economy and Economic Concentration

11 June 2019, 8:30 
Trubowicz Building, The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University 
Antitrust New Frontiers
The rise of the digital (“new”) economy has created new challenges for antitrust enforcement. It has considerably improved the ability of businesses to utilize efficiencies, disrupted markets, accelerated globalization, and changed the demand for skills in labor markets. It has also empowered populist ideas that are not always informed or practical. Economies across the world have witnessed dramatic increases in market concentration, displacement of small and large businesses, rising economic disparities, and growing pressures to revisit competition policies. Antitrust New Frontiers convenes some of the world’s leading antitrust thinkers, who have served in senior positions in the public and private sectors, as well as academia, to discuss contemporary antitrust themes, focusing on economic concentration and the transformation of markets.
Organizers: Barak Orbach, Yair Eilat, Michal Gal, David Gilo, Oren Rigb

May 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

EU Merger Policy Predictability Using Random Forests

Pauline Affeldt, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) studies EU Merger Policy Predictability Using Random Forests.

ABSTRACT: I study the predictability of the EC’s merger decision procedure before and after the 2004 merger policy reform based on a dataset covering all affected markets of mergers with an official decision documented by DG Comp between 1990 and 2014. Using the highly flexible, non-parametric random forest algorithm to predict DG Comp’s assessment of competitive concerns in markets affected by a merger, I find that the predictive performance of the random forests is much better than the performance of simple linear models. In particular, the random forests do much better in predicting the rare event of competitive concerns. Secondly, post-reform, DG Comp seems to base its assessment on a more complex interaction of merger and market characteristics than pre-reform. The highly flexible random forest algorithm is ableto detect these potentially complex interactions and, therefore, still allows for high prediction precision.

May 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)