Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Request to Our Readers

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

If you are a reader and have your own blog, could you list us on your blogroll?

January 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Giving the German Cartel Office the Power of Divestiture - The Conformity of the Reform with Constitutional Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Engel Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods) provides an interesting normative analysis of German competition law in his piece Giving the German Cartel Office the Power of Divestiture - The Conformity of the Reform with Constitutional Law.

ABSTRACT: Triggered by the concentration process in the electricity and gas markets, the land of Hesse proposes to give the German cartel office power to divest dominant firms or oligopolies if this is necessary to restore competition. The paper shows that the reform would be in line with constitutional law, and with freedom of property in particular. Depending on how divestiture is brought about, it would interfere with this basic freedom. It would however not amount to taking. In practice, the main effect would be through bargaining between the divested company and the cartel office. This poses problems under rule of law, but these problems are not insurmountable. The main justification for the reform is the almost total failure of interventions to combat the abuse of dominant positions. In the US, divestiture has not always been successful. But close scrutiny of the American experiences demonstrates that the tool is sufficiently effective to meet the constitutional standard. If divestiture is brought about by forcing the firm to sell entities or assets, the necessary compensation comes from the price it receives from the buyer.

January 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Specialized LLM in Competition/Antitrust Law?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

I get a number of requests throughout the year about what universities have specialized LLMs in competition law.  Unfortunately, I do not have an answer.  I invite readers to post about what specialized antitrust/competition law LLMs exist.  Please note that all responses are delayed because due to spam, we need to sift through responses to allow then to be posted.  Otherwise, you would read many posts about increasing the size of various parts of your body.

January 22, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

2008 International Technical Assistance Workshop: Charting the Future Course of International Technical Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission plan to host a one-day workshop on international technical assistance titled  2008 International Technical Assistance Workshop: Charting the Future Course of International Technical Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The workshop is open to the public.

Date: The workshop will take place on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.           

Location: The workshop will be held at the Federal Trade Commission Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Report: The Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission intend to produce a report after the workshop, taking into account written submissions, discussion and comments made during the workshop, and other public sources of information.

Contact: For more information, contact the Antitrust Division by e-mail at 2008TechAssistWorkshop@usdoj.gov or by telephone at 202-514-2488.

Agenda:

8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Deborah Platt Majoras, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission

Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division

   

9:00 a.m. The DOJ-FTC Technical Assistance Program, 1990-2007: Reviewing the First Two Decades

For nearly two decades, the FTC and DOJ have promoted market competition around the world by providing technical assistance, primarily with USAID funding, to new competition agencies and to countries in the process of reforming their markets and adopting competition laws. The agencies have conducted approximately 400 missions to scores of countries on short-term trips and multimonth advisory missions. FTC and DOJ representatives will describe the how the program works, share their varied experiences with competition agencies worldwide, and discuss how to maximize the effectiveness of technical assistance. Competition officials from several countries will discuss technical assistance from the perspective of a recipient and offer valuable suggestions for making the program even better.

Moderator:

Anne Purcell White, Assistant Chief, Foreign Commerce Section, Antitrust Division

Panelists:

Timothy T. Hughes, Counsel for International Technical Assistance, Office of International Affairs, FTC

Craig Conrath, Trial Attorney, Antitrust Division

Elizabeth Schneirov, Bureau of Economics, FTC

Graciela Ortiz, President, Indecopi (Lima, Peru)

Csaba Kovacs, Head of Competition Policy Section, Hungarian Competition Authority

 

10:30 a.m. Break

 

10:45 a.m.  The Expanding Role of Consumer Protection in Developing Legal and Economic Policies Through Technical Assistance

For over a decade, the FTC has provided technical assistance in a variety of topics, to a variety of nations, in a variety of formats. Topics have included institution building, components of effective consumer protection systems, advertising regulation, electronic commerce, and consumer credit. The FTC has delivered this assistance through resident advisors, short-term missions, seminars at international meetings, study tours in the United States, and bilateral contacts (telephone and videoconference). The FTC has also attempted to facilitate the role of other U.S. government consumer agencies in rounding out the assistance effort.

Moderator:
Hugh Stevenson, Deputy Director for Consumer Protection, Office of International Affairs, FTC

Panelists:

Russell Damtoft, Associate Director, Office of International Affairs, FTC

Pablo Zylberglait, Counsel for International Consumer Protection, FTC

Rich O'Brien, Head of International Programs, Consumer Product Safety Commission

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Representative 

11:45 a.m. World Experience in Delivering Technical Assistance

The DOJ and the FTC have not been alone in thinking about how to most effectively deliver technical assistance to newer competition agencies. The International Competition Network has engaged in a significant project to identify what works well and what does not. Several academic researchers have studied the problem, as has the World Bank and other multilateral organizations. The OECD Competition Committee has provided a unique form of technical assistance around the globe for years. In addition, development agencies from several other jurisdictions fund significant technical assistance efforts. This session will tap into these resources to explore what can be learned from these institutions.

Moderator:

Russell Pittman, Director of Technical Assistance and Economic Research, Antitrust Division

Panelists:

Shyam Khemani, Advisor, Competition Policy, World Bank

Edward Whitehorn, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Alberto Heimler, Central Director for Research and International Affairs, Italian Competition Authority

Anne Purcell White, Assistant Chief, Foreign Commerce Section, Antitrust Division

 

12:45 p.m.  Lunch (provided)

 

1:45 p.m. Perspectives on Antitrust Technical Assistance Needs Across the Globe

In order to optimize agency technical assistance programs, it is first important to understand the primary needs of new agencies and developing economies in the area of competition law and policy. This panel will provide a variety of perspectives on what the greatest needs are overseas, and on how DOJ and FTC can design their missions to best to address those needs. Specific topics to be addressed will include how antitrust technical assistance contributes to economic growth and development, what technical assistance needs are going unmet, setting priorities for technical assistance, the extent to which the needs of a competition agency vary with level of development, and the role of the private sector and other donors in technical assistance. 

Moderator:

Russell Damtoft, Associate Director, Office of International Affairs, FTC

Panelists:

Stan Anderson, Senior Counsel to the President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Eleanor M. Fox, Professor, New York University School of Law

James F. Rill, Partner, Howrey LLP

Nicholas S. Klissas, Senior Commercial Law Reform Advisor, USAID Foreign Agency Representative

Russell Pittman, Director of Technical Assistance and Economic Research, Antitrust Division

 

3:00 p.m. Break 

   

3:15 p.m.  Moving Forward: Technical Assistance for the 21st Century

This final interactive roundtable will draw on the wisdom of experts with a variety of perspectives, as well as the rest of the day's discussions, to chart out a course for making future technical assistance missions even more effective. The panel will be moderated by FTC Commissioner Kovacic who will not only share his extensive experience with antitrust technical assistance, but will also aim to develop concrete recommendations that can be implemented by the DOJ and FTC as they design missions to promote competition law and policy in ever farther corners of the globe.

Moderator:

William E. Kovacic, Commissioner, FTC

Panelists:

Andreas Reindl, Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

Daniel Sokol, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

Mark Whitener, Senior Counsel, Competition Law and Policy, General Electric Company

Georges Korsun, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP Consumer Protection Expert

 

January 22, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bundles of Joy: The Ubiquity and Efficiency of Bundles in New Technology Markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stan J. Liebowitz, University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Finance & Managerial Economics and Stephen E. Margolis, North Carolina State University - Department of Economics bring us Bundles of Joy: The Ubiquity and Efficiency of Bundles in New Technology Markets.

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the economic logic underlying bundles and tie-in sales and uses the lessons learned from that examination to analyze seven specific instances of bundling that have been the subject of antitrust scrutiny or other policy initiatives. We are particularly interested in products that are non-rivalrous in consumption, making all-you-can-eat pricing a viable candidate for efficiency. Our main economic points are the following: A la carte pricing may populate economic models but most products are bundles; they are bundles because bundles are generally more efficient. Tie-in sales are much less common and, we believe, not properly understood in textbook discussions. Market foreclosure, the principal efficiency concern with tying and bundling, is likely to be exceedingly rare. The seven instances of bundling (ties) examined are: cable television; patent pools; blanket licenses; iPods and iTunes; telephones; music albums and songs; and operating systems and component programs.

January 21, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Two Tales on Resale

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Felix Höffler (Max Planck Institute of Research on Collective Goods) and Klaus M. Schmidt (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Faculty of Economics) provide Two Tales on Resale in their most recent working paper.

ABSTRACT: In some markets vertically integrated firms sell directly to final customers but also to independent downstream firms with whom they then compete on the downstream market. It is often argued that resellers intensify competition and benefit consumers, in particular when wholesale prices are regulated. However, we show that (i) resale may increase prices and make consumers worse off and that (ii) standard "retail minus X regulation" may increase prices and harm consumers. Our analysis suggests that this is more likely if the number of integrated firms is small, the degree of product differentiation is low, and/or if competition is spatial.

January 21, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SSRN Most Downloaded New Antitrust Law & Policy Papers (November 21, 2007 to January 20, 2008)

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

SSRN Most Downloaded New Antitrust Law & Policy Papers (November 21, 2007 to January 20, 2008)

1.  Supreme Court Amicus Brief of Professors and Scholars in Law and Economics in Support of Certiorari, Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications, Inc., No. 07-512 (filed Nov. 16, 2007)
William J. Baumol, Robert H. Bork, Robert W. Crandall, George Daly, Harold Demsetz, Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Kenneth G. Elzinga, Gerald R. Faulhaber, Franklin M. Fisher, Charles John Goetz, Robert W. Hahn, Jerry A. Hausman, Thomas Jorde, Robert E. Litan, Robert E. Litan, Paul W. MacAvoy, J. Gregory Sidak, Pablo T. Spiller, Daniel F. Spulber,
New York University - Stern School of Business - Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Author - Affiliation Unknown, Brookings Institution - General, Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Economics, Criterion Economics, LLC, University of Virginia - Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania - Management Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics, University of Virginia - School of Law, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies - General, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law (Boalt Hall), AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Yale School of Management, Criterion Economics, LLC, University of California, Berkeley - Business & Public Policy Group, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

2.  Rethinking Antitrust Law in an Age of Network Industries
George L. Priest,
Yale Law School

3.  The Roberts Court and the Chicago School of Antitrust: The 2006 Term and Beyond
Joshua D. Wright,
George Mason University - School of Law

4.  The Quiet Revolution in U.S. Antitrust Law
George Alan Hay,
Cornell University - School of Law

5.  Antitrust Vertical Myopia: The Allure of High Prices
Barak Y. Orbach,
University of Arizona

6. Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.: The Strange Career of the Law of Resale Price Maintenance
Lino A. Graglia
University of Texas at Austin School of Law

7. The Elusive Antitrust Standard on Bundling in Europe and in the United States at the Aftermath of the Microsoft Cases
Nicholas Economides, Ioannis Lianos,
New York University - Stern School of Business, Faculty of Laws, University College London

8.  Free Riding: An Overstated, and Unconvincing, Explanation for Resale Price Maintenance
Marina Lao,
Seton Hall School of Law

9. Global Antitrust Prosecutions of International Cartels: Focus on Asia
John M. Connor,
Purdue University

January 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Competition, Regulation and Development Research Forum Call for Papers

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

CUTS invite submission of theoretical, empirical and policy-oriented research papers for the second research cycle of the biennial Competition, Regulation and Development Research Forum (CDRF).

The theme for the second cycle is ‘Institutional Issues covering Political Economy and Governance Constraints in Implementing Competition and Regulatory Regimes in the Developing World’.

We invite you to submit paper on the following research area: Protection of Public Interest vis-à-vis Promotion of Efficient Markets

How to submit: Prospective authors are requested to first submit abstracts with some methodological details for their paper for consideration as per the guidelines for authors (http://www.circ.in/CDRF-auth_guide02.htm).

The deadline for submission of abstract is 5th February 2008.

January 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Conference: Merger Analysis in High Technology Markets

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

In what includes an impressive list of speakers, Goerge Mason University law School will host a conference on Merger Analysis in High Technology Markets.

Friday,  Feb. 1, 2008
8:15AM-2:30PM

MERGER ANALYSIS IN HIGH TECHNOLOGY MARKETS HAZEL HALL
GMU LAW SCHOOL
ROOM 121

8:15 WELCOME THOMAS HAZLETT (GMU)

8:20: MORNING KEYNOTE DENNIS CARLTON (DOJ)

8:45: PANEL 1
MODERATOR: KEN HEYER (DOJ)
HOWARD SHELANSKI (UC BERKELEY) TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND MERGER POLICY’S THIRD ERA MICHAEL BAYE (FTC) MARKET DEFINITION IN ONLINE MARKETS
RICHARD GILBERT (UC BERKELEY) SKY WARS: THE ATTEMPTED MERGER OF DISH/ DIRECTV

10:00 BREAK

10:15 PANEL 2 MODERATOR: MICHAEL VITA (FTC)
HAL SINGER (CRITERION) & ROBERT HAHN (AEI) AN ANTITRUST ANALYSIS OF GOOGLE’S PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF DOUBLECLICK
MARY COLEMAN (LECG) NICE THEORY BUT WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?:  THE USE OF ECONOMIC EVIDENCE TO EVALUATE VERTICAL AND CONGLOMERATE MERGERS IN THE US AND EU
LUKE FROEB (VANDERBILT) MERGERS AMONG FIRMS THAT LICENSE COMMON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

11:30 BREAK

11:45 PANEL 3
MODERATOR: JONATHAN BAKER (AMERICAN U)
BRUCE ABRAMSON (CRAI) ARE “ONLINE MARKETS” REAL AND RELEVANT?
THOMAS HAZLETT (GMU) ANTITRUST IN ORBIT: SOME DYNAMICS OF HORIZONTAL MERGER ANALYSIS IN THE CASE OF XM-SIRIUS
J. GREG SIDAK (GEORGETOWN) EVALUATING MARKET POWER WITH TWO-SIDED DEMAND AND PREEMPTIVE OFFERS TO DISSIPATE MONOPOLY RENT: LESSONS FOR HIGH-TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES FROM THE PROPOSED MERGER OF XM AND SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO

1:00 LUNCH LUNCH KEYNOTE
KEVIN MURPHY (CHICAGO GSB)

2:30 ADJOURN

VENUE: The George Mason University School of Law, Hazel Hall, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201 (near the Virginia Square-GMU Metro -- Orange Line).  Admission is free, but seating is limited.  To reserve your spot, please email Drew Clark: iep.gmu@gmail.com.  Parking (at market rates) is available in the GMU Foundation Bldg., 3434 Washington Boulevard.  An Arlington campus map is found here:  http://www.gmu.edu/departments/infoservices/ArlingtonMap07.pdf.

January 19, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Elusive Antitrust Standard on Bundling in Europe and in the United States at the Aftermath of the Microsoft Cases

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Nicholas Economides (NYU Stern School of Business) and Ioannis Lianos (University College London Faculty of Law) have written a very important piece on The Elusive Antitrust Standard on Bundling in Europe and in the United States at the Aftermath of the Microsoft Cases.

ABSTRACT: We analyze and contrast the US and EU antitrust standards on mixed bundling and tying. We apply our analysis to the US and EU cases against Microsoft on the issue of tying new products (Internet Explorer in the US, and Windows Media Player in the EU) with Windows as well as to cases brought in Europe and in the United States on bundling discounts. We conclude that there are differences between the EC and US antitrust law on the choice of the relevant analogy for bundled rebates (predatory price standard or foreclosure standard) and the implementation of the distinct product and coercion test for tying practices. The second important difference between the two jurisdictions concerns the interpretation of the requirement of anticompetitive foreclosure. It seems to us that in Europe, consumer detriment is found easily and it is not always a requirement for the application of Article 82, or at least that the standard of proof of a consumer detriment for tying cases is lower than in the US.


January 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Book Party for EC Private Antitrust Enforcement : Decentralised Application of EC Competition Law by National Courts

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Hart Publishing, the European University Institute and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
request the pleasure of your company at a book launch and a reception to celebrate the publication of

EC Private Antitrust Enforcement: Decentralised Application of EC Competition Law by National Courts

by
Assimakis Komninos

1 Place du Congrès
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 229 39 11
Wednesday
27th February 2008
12.30 – 15.00
Speakers: Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, Walter van Gerven, Ian S. Forrester, Laurence Idot, Emil Paulis
RSVP by February 15th 2007
pborri@whitecase.com

January 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Giving the German Cartel Office the Power of Divestiture - The Conformity of the Reform with Constitutional Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Christoph Engel of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods has suggested some reforms of German competition policy in his paper Giving the German Cartel Office the Power of Divestiture - The Conformity of the Reform with Constitutional Law.

ABSTRACT: Triggered by the concentration process in the electricity and gas markets, the land of Hesse proposes to give the German cartel office power to divest dominant firms or oligopolies if this is necessary to restore competition. The paper shows that the reform would be in line with constitutional law, and with freedom of property in particular. Depending on how divestiture is brought about, it would interfere with this basic freedom. It would however not amount to taking. In practice, the main effect would be through bargaining between the divested company and the cartel office. This poses problems under rule of law, but these problems are not insurmountable. The main justification for the reform is the almost total failure of interventions to combat the abuse of dominant positions. In the US, divestiture has not always been successful. But close scrutiny of the American experiences demonstrates that the tool is sufficiently effective to meet the constitutional standard. If divestiture is brought about by forcing the firm to sell entities or assets, the necessary compensation comes from the price it receives from the buyer.   

January 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Members of Caricom Competition Commission Announced

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The members and backgrounds of the new members of Caricom Competition Commission are available here.

January 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Price Squeezes and the Supreme Court

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Following up on my earlier post regarding recent analysis of the 9th circuit linkLine Communications case, below is the abstract for an amicus brief by economics and law professors supporting certification before the Supreme Court.

ABSTRACT: The linkLine price squeeze case from the Ninth Circuit is the most important antitrust case that the Supreme Court could take during the Fall 2007 Term. Amici are professors and scholars in law and economics who have taught, or have conducted research on, antitrust law and the economics of industrial organization. They include William J. Baumol, Robert H. Bork, Robert W. Crandall, George Daly, Harold Demsetz, Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Kenneth G. Elzinga, Gerald Faulhaber, Franklin M. Fisher, Charles J. Goetz, Robert Hahn, Jerry A. Hausman, Thomas M. Jorde, Robert E. Litan, Paul W. MacAvoy, J. Gregory Sidak, Pablo T. Spiller, and Daniel F. Spulber.

We agree with the petitioners that the Ninth Circuit has generated an inescapable conflict among circuits, and that the Ninth Circuit's opinion below is incompatible with this Court's reasoning in Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U.S. 398 (2004), Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co., 127 S. Ct. 1069 (2007), and Brooke Group Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209 (1993). We agree with Judge Gould's dissent in linkLine that Trinko “takes the issues of wholesale pricing out of the case,” such that the plaintiffs' only possible remaining theory of harm would be predatory pricing at the retail level—which the plaintiffs did not allege. linkLine Commc'ns Inc. v. Pac. Bell Tel. Co. d/b/a/ AT&T Cal., Inc., No. 05-56023, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 21719, at *28-29 (9th Cir. Sept. 11, 2007) (Gould, J., dissenting). We also agree with Judge Ginsburg's opinion for the D.C. Circuit in Covad Communications Co. v. Bell Atlantic Corp., 398 F.3d 666 (D.C. Cir. 2005), which in turn embraces the conclusion of the Areeda-Hovenkamp treatise that “‘it makes no sense to prohibit a predatory price squeeze in circumstances where the integrated monopolist is free to refuse to deal.'” Id. at 673-74 (quoting 3A Phillip E. Areeda & Herbert Hovenkamp, Antitrust Law ¶ 767c3, at 129-30 (2d ed. 2002)). The existence of a rule like linkLine has a pervasive impact on business behavior that, at the margin, affects competition and consumers. This deleterious effect extends beyond the telecommunications industry to affect all firms that do business in the Ninth Circuit. These reasons justify granting certiorari in linkLine and reversing the Ninth Circuit's decision.

In our minds, an even larger reason than those described above makes it imperative that the Court take this case. The Ninth Circuit's decision in linkLine implicates the normative foundation of modern Sherman Act jurisprudence: that antitrust law exists to advance consumer welfare. We have three points to make.

First, any rule of price-squeeze liability that threatens liability based on the claim that the difference between a firm's upstream and downstream prices leaves downstream rivals insufficient margin substitutes a rule of competitor welfare for consumer welfare.

Second, properly understood, a price squeeze is a regulatory issue, which makes sense only as a rule of price regulation in an industry already subject to duties to deal and to control by institutionally competent regulators. Attempting to implement regulatory policy through section 2 of the Sherman Act is ill-advised, both because it makes no sense for courts to re-regulate deregulated or lightly regulated industries, and because courts lack the institutional competence to implement regulation.

Third, the Ninth Circuit's rule is of pressing concern precisely because it will deter efficiency-enhancing conduct and competitive pricing. Vertical integration and partial integration are ubiquitous, and firms need to be able to make decisions about such integration without the threat of liability. Vertically integrated firms likewise need to be free to cut retail prices (as long as the prices are not predatory) without concern for rivals—the point of Brooke Group. Moreover, the Ninth Circuit's standard is so vague and open-ended that it creates uncertainty and invites litigation; it also permits imposition of liability based on apparently subjective evaluation of disputed and hard-to-prove facts, which will lead to a substantial risk of false positives.

 

January 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AAI Annual National Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

AAI Annual National Conference and 10th Anniversary Celebration
June 19, 2008

Registration Date: February 01, 2008  -  June 17, 2008

Location: National Press Club Ballroom
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor Washington, DC 20045

The American Antitrust Institute will celebrate its 10th year during its annual national conference on June 19, 2008 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This year, the conference will focus on the presentation of AAI's Transition Report on Competition Policy for the next Administration. The report will articulate the public policy agenda of AAI while providing the next Administration with specific suggestions for legislation and enforcement priorities. Industry-leading experts will present draft chapters of the report on topics including:

-The Role of Concentration and Market Power

-Merger Policy

-Monopoly and Monopolization

-Verticality in the Economic System

-Buyer Power Issues -Improving the FTC

-Improving the DOJ Antitrust Division

-Private Enforcement in the Antitrust System

-The Role of Competition Policy in Selected Key Industries (Petroleum, Electricity, Pharmaceutical, and Agriculture)

The conference includes a 10th Anniversary Celebration luncheon, at which the Jerry S Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship and the AAI Antitrust Achievement Award will be presented.

January 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy 50th Birthday to the Bundeskartellamt and the German Act Against Restraints of Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Yesterday in Berlin the Bundeskartellamt celebrated its 50th Anniversary in style with a conference.  I was able to find the remarks of Tom Barnett here.

January 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The 'Cut and Paste' of Article 82 of the EC Treaty in Israel: Conditions for a Successful Transplant

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Michal Gal of the University of Haifa Law School has just posed what is a fascinating article on the effectiveness of legal transplant of antitrust in Israel titled The 'Cut and Paste' of Article 82 of the EC Treaty in Israel: Conditions for a Successful Transplant.

ABSTRACT: A bit over a decade ago the Israeli competition law was amended. The legislator simply 'cut and paste' Article 82 of the Treaty of Rome, which prohibits the abuse of dominance, into the Israeli Competition Act. The question this article addresses is whether the copying of Article 82 has been a Trojan horse - in that its adoption into brought in doctrines and legal rules which did not serve well Israeli competition law, or whether it served as a racing horse, in that it move forward the Israeli law of abuse. The answer, I suggest, is a hybrid horse. Nonetheless, a few years of exercise on the local racetrack have strengthened its racing abilities by acclimatizing it to the special conditions of the new legal environment. The article uses the Israeli experience as a case study and reaches some interesting conclusions with regard to the conditions necessary for a successful legal transplant.

January 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Commentary on LinkLine Communications

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

GCP has a number of interesting articles on the implications of the LinkLine Communications case including ones by David Olsky, Jonathan Rubin, Thomas P. Brown, Jonathan Jacobson & Valentina Rucker, and William Baumol et al.

January 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mergers in Regulated Industries: Electricity

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Carlton Dennis Carlton of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and DOJ Antitrust Division discusses Mergers in Regulated Industries: Electricity in his latest working paper.

ABSTRACT: Mergers in any industry can raise complicated questions about the elimination of competition and the achievement of efficiencies. Mergers in regulated industries such as electricity raise even more complicated issues as the analyst needs to grapple with the constraining effects of regulation, multiple levels of regulation, the ability to evade regulation, and the desire for efficiency. This paper discusses the electricity industry in general and one particular electricity merger that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently analyzed, in order to draw several lessons about the promotion of competition through electricity mergers in the United States. The purpose is to stimulate discussion with European counterparts to see what, if anything, Europe can learn from the U.S. experience with electricity mergers and regulations.

January 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

The European Floodgate Has Opened- European Commission Initiates Two New Antitrust Investigations Against Microsoft

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

No doubt emboldened from its success in the CFI's judgment against Microsoft in September, the Commission has gone on the offensive again against Microsoft by initiating two new investigations.  According to the press release, "The first case where proceedings have been opened is in the field of interoperability in relation to a complaint by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS). The second area where proceedings have been opened is in the field of tying of separate software products following inter alia a complaint by Opera."

January 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)