Thursday, April 24, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB)
The WZB will stage its 15th conference on Markets and Politics on October 17-18, 2008, in Berlin. This will be held in conjunction with the 2nd conference of the Research Network on Innovation and Competition Policy (RNIC). During this conference, we intend to provide a forum for international researchers, practitioners and network members to present and discuss work concerning deterrence effects in competition policy. The objective is to organize a small-scale event that promotes interaction and discussion. Participation will mainly be by invitation.
Deterrence is a crucial aspect of competition policy, traditionally in the area of cartels and price fixing, but also in the area of merger policy. Although its main elements – detection and punishment – are well-known, an evaluation of the deterrence impact remains problematic. The major problem is its measurability, as it is difficult to assess how laws, court decisions and authority actions influence anti-competitive behavior by firms. This conference intends to enhance our understanding of deterrence in the area of competition policy, by discussing new methodological approaches for measurement. Furthermore, we also aim to consider both empirically and theoretically how new developments in competition policy may influence deterrence (e.g. the introduction of private litigation). Finally, deterrence, by changing firms’ behavior, then also has an impact on resulting market structures and economic growth; these themes will be dealt with as well. Some of the issues we are interested in include:
- The development of new empirical approaches
- Do mistakes from authorities or uncertain environments influence deterrence?
- Does over deterrence exist The deterrence impact of plea bargaining on cartels
- The deterrence impact of bargaining over remedies on mergers
- Policing actual merger cases versus deterring future mergers Does private litigation increase cartel deterrence?
- Ex ante versus ex post deterrence
- The importance of precedents and court decisions in deterrence
- The deterrence impact on merger behavior and ultimately market structure and growth