Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Competition Law And Economics: Advances in Competition Policy Enforcement in the EU and North America

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Abel M. Mateus, (Professor of Economics, New University of Lisbon) and Teresa Moreira (Faculty of Law, University of Lisbon, Portugal) have edited Competition Law And Economics: Advances in Competition Policy Enforcement in the EU and North America.

ABSTRACT:  There is broad consensus on the fight against cartels, with some countries criminalizing this type of agreement. However there is also wide debate on the questions of monopolization and abuse of dominant position, vividly highlighted by the recent Microsoft case. Furthermore, there are today diverging views on the interplay of business strategies and the control of market power on both a national and international scale. The book discusses the perennial issue in Europe of the conflicts between competition and industrial policies, once again bringing the theme of national champions to the fore. The contributing authors provide opinion on the efforts which have been made towards modernization in both the USA and the EU.


Contents:

Preface

Introduction
Abel M. Mateus

PART I: OPENING SPEECHES
1. Speech by the President of the Republic at the Opening Session of the Second Lisbon Conference on Competition Law and Economics
Aníbal Cavaco Silva

2. Helping Europeans Get the Best Deal: A Sound Competition Policy for Well-functioning Markets
Neelie Kroes

3. Competition Policy and Consumer Protection in the EU
Meglena Kuneva

4. Competition Policy Enforcement in the European Union: State of Art and Major Challenges
Abel M. Mateus

PART II: JUDICIAL CONTROL OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS AND PRIVATE ENFORCEMENT
5. Costs and Benefits of Private and Public Antitrust Enforcement: An American Perspective
Douglas H. Ginsburg

6. Administrative Regulation versus Private Enforcement – the EU Perspective
John D. Cooke

7. Improving Judicial Control of Administrative Decisions in Competition Enforcement
Frédéric Jenny

8. The Effectiveness and Limitations of the Portuguese System of Competition Law Enforcement by Administrative and Civil Procedural Means
José Manuel Sérvulo Correia

PART III: MERGER CONTROL IN REGULATED MARKETS AND DYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF NETWORK MARKETS
9. Mergers in Regulated Industries: Electricity
Dennis W. Carlton

10. Modelling Competition and Regulation in Wireless Telecommunications: A Progress Report
Luís Cabral

PART IV: MODERNIZATION OF ANTI-TRUST RULES AND INSTITUTIONS
11. Competition Law and Policy Modernization: Lessons from the U.S. Common-law Experience
Thomas O. Barnett

PART V: ABUSES OF DOMINANT POSITION AND MONOPOLIZATION: CONCLUSIONS OF THE DEBATES IN THE EU AND USA
12. Abuses of Dominant Position and Monopolization: Conclusions of the Major Debates in the EU and USA
Emil Paulis

13. Abuses of Dominant Position, Intellectual Property Rights and Monopolization in EU Competition Law: Some Thoughts on a Possible Course of Action
Inge Govaere

14. Abuses of Dominant Position and Monopolization: An Economic Perspective
Patrick Rey

15. The Current Debate About Section 2 of the Sherman Act: Judicial Certainty versus Rule of Reason
Barry E. Hawk

16. The Legal Periphery of Dominant Firm Conduct
Herbert Hovenkamp

17. Monopolization and the Fading Dominant Firm
Timothy F. Bresnahan

PART VI: COMPETITION AND INDUSTRIAL POLICIES IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD
18. Do National Champions Have Anything to do with Economics?
Anne Perrot

19. Competition Policy and Competitiveness in Europe
John Fingleton

20. Ownership, Performance and National Champions
Damien Neven

21. Antitrust Policy and Industrial Policy: A View from the U.S.
Lawrence J. White

22. Recent Canadian Policy Towards Industry: Competition Policy, Industrial Policy and National Champions
Thomas W. Ross

PART VII: TOWARDS A MORE EFFICIENT APPROACH TO STATE AID
23. Economics in State Aid: Soon as Routine as Dentistry?
Lowri Evans and Harold Nyssens

24. The New Approach to State Aid: Contributions and Limits from Case Law of the European Courts
Massimo Merola and Marie Debieuvre

September 22, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation in the Internet Age 2010

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation in the Internet Age 2010
                              A New Hope for the New Economy?                

Monday 24th January 2011, Le Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

Meet our chairman:
Oliver Bretz, Partner, Clifford Chance, UK
Meet our eminent line-up of speakers:
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
Nelson Jung, Senior Team Leader – Services, Office of Fair Trading (OFT), UK
Johan Ysewyn, Head of Competition Group, Linklaters, Belgium
William Blumenthal, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA (Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission)
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, Senior Consultant, Linklaters LLP, UK (Former President, Competition Appeals Tribunal, Former Judge, Court of First Instance now General Court)
Agenda: Monday 24th January 2011
08:40 Registration and coffee
09:30 Chair’s introduction
Oliver Bretz, Partner, Clifford Chance, UK
Opening address
09:40 A transatlantic debate: Contrasting the US and EU regimes
• Opportunities and risks – vertical restraints in the New Economy
• Overview of the US approach to vertical agreements
• Compare and contrast with the EU regime
• Transatlantic lessons?
William Blumenthal, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA (Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission)
10:15 Does the EU Block Exemption make economic sense
• The interface between economics and competition pragmatism
• Positive and negative impacts on the New Economy
• Is there a better approach – are there any screens?
10:50 Morning coffee break
11:10 Exclusive rights in the new economy: Necessity or market
tipping?
• Is the distinction between horizontal and vertical restraint meaningful in technology markets?
• Can 'one size fit all'?
• How do you balance the interests of competitors and consumers?
• Is the Block Exemption ever useful?
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
11:50 Panel discussion: Content downloads, online selling, e-commerce
and vertical agreements
• Discussing practical challenges and legal complexities
Moderator:
Johan Ysewyn, Partner, Linklaters LLP, Belgium
Panellists include so far:
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
Keynote address
12:30 A response from the European Commission
• Highlighting the Commission’s current policies and priorities, particularly in the new economy
13:20 Lunch
Joint presentation
14:30 Luxury and the internet – do we have the right balance?
• Online commerce v. luxury brands
• Practical challenges
• How to you balance the interests of the consumer?
15.15 Unilateral actions, agency models and other approaches
• Is it circumvention or just good business practice?
• Different distribution models, different issues
• How does it fit with the internal market
• Do members states have a consistent approach?
15:40 Afternoon tea break
16.00 How are vertical restraints enforced? The view from the bench
• How does the judiciary approach enforcement
• Discussing practical challenges
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, Senior Consultant, Linklaters LLP, UK (Former President, Competition Appeals Tribunal, Former Judge, Court of First Instance now General Court)
16:40 Panel discussion: How are vertical restraints enforced? The view
from the Authorities
• What is the role of the Commission?
• What is the role of NCAs?
• Is private enforcement effective outside the confines of the Block Exemption?
• Is there a transatlantic disconnect?
Panellists include so far:
Nelson Jung, Senior Team Leader – Services, Office of Fair Trading (OFT), UK
William Blumenthal, Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA
17:30 Chair’s closing remarks and close of conference

September 22, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Competition and Mergers Among Nonprofits

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jens Prufer, TILEC and CentER, Department of Economics, Tilburg University addresses Competition and Mergers Among Nonprofits.

ABSTRACT: Should mergers among nonprofit organizations be assessed differently than mergers among for-profit firms? A recent debate in law and economics, boosted by apparently one-sided court decisions, has produced the result that promoting competition is socially valuable regardless of the particular objectives of producers. In this paper, I challenge the general validity of this result by showing that it may indeed depend on the particular objectives of producers whether a merger between two nonprofits is welfare decreasing or increasing. This implies that it is impossible to assess the net effects of a merger between two nonprofits without examining the objectives of the owners involved.

September 22, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Democracy and Consumer Strength: Direct Evidence from Regulatory Reform in Developing Countries

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stephen J. Weymouth, Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business discusses Democracy and Consumer Strength: Direct Evidence from Regulatory Reform in Developing Countries.

ABSTRACT: The distributional implications of antitrust regulation imply a political cleavage between consumers and producers. I argue that the relative strength of these two groups depends on the level of democracy. In particular, an expansion of the franchise and competitive elections will increase the relative political weight of consumers, resulting in policies that favors their interests. An empirical implication of the argument is that the likelihood of effective competition policy reform increases with democracy. I test this proposition in two stages using an original dataset measuring competition agency design in 156 developing countries covering the period 1975-2007. First, I estimate hazard models on the timing of competition policy reform. Second, since “laws on the books” do not necessarily indicate a commitment to effective policy, I create an original index measuring governments’ commitments to antitrust policy. The index captures the independence of the agency, resource (budget and staffing) allocations, expert perceptions, and actual legal actions. The results of the empirical analysis support the proposition that democracy improves governments’ commitments to competition policy.  

September 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Organized Business, Affiliated Labor, and Competition Policy Reform in Developing Democracies

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Stephen J. Weymouth, Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business has posted Organized Business, Affiliated Labor, and Competition Policy Reform in Developing Democracies.

ABSTRACT: One of the enduring lessons of the global financial crisis is that regulatory laxity heightens systemic risk. This paper examines the political sources of regulatory laxity, highlighting the influence of interest groups on governments' commitments to competition (antitrust) regulation in democracies. I argue that competition policy enforcement reflects the relative political strength of two contending groups. A rent-preserving alliance of incumbent producers and affiliated labor ("insiders") opposes competition policies that erode its market dominance. A pro-competition coalition of consumers, unorganized workers, and entrepreneurs ("outsiders") favors regulatory oversight. A simple model illustrates that policymakers' commitments to competition policy vary according to the distributive effects of reform. Where insiders are concentrated and encompassing, commitments to antitrust regulatory reform are weakened. To test the propositions, I create an original dataset measuring competition agency design over the period 1975-2007. The results, which are robust to multiple specifications and instrumental variables, suggest that anticompetitive interest groups slow the reform process and weaken governments' commitments to a robust regulatory regime.

September 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Decision of the Commission of 13 May 2009 in the Intel Case: Where is the Foreclosure and Consumer Harm?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Damien Geradin, Howrey LLP, Tilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) asks The Decision of the Commission of 13 May 2009 in the Intel Case: Where is the Foreclosure and Consumer Harm?

ABSTRACT: On 21 September 2009, the European Commission published a provisional non-confidential version of its 13 May 2009 Decision in which it condemned Intel to a record fine of € 1.06 billion on the ground that it had granted conditional rebates and payments to a number of OEMs and a large retailer of consumer electronics purchasing its x86 CPUs, and that it had paid OEMs to delay, cancel or in some other way restrict the commercialization of specific AMD-based products.

This paper shows that the Commission Decision contains a number of flaws. They include the facts that the Decision: (i) relies in substance on a per se prohibition of conditional rebates recognized by the formalistic case-law of the Community courts, notwithstanding that the Commission had clearly indicated in various important policy documents, including its Guidance Paper on Article 82 EC, its intention to move away from this approach for an effects-based analysis; (ii) states, contrary to sound policy, that it need not conduct an “as efficient competitor” test, but conducts a misguided one anyway; (iii) insufficiently supports its speculative theory that the OEMs’ purchasing policy was influenced by their understanding of Intel’s alleged intention to reduce or eliminate their rebates should they buy x86 CPUs from AMD; (iv) fails to demonstrate its contention that Intel’s rebates harm competition and consumers; and (v) conducts an excessively restrictive analysis of the efficiencies created by Intel’s rebates.

The Intel decision thus stands for the dangerous proposition that any dominant firm is at risk under Article 82 EC if there exists evidence that employees of a customer believe that reducing present purchases from it could have repercussions with regard to the availability and terms of future purchases, even if the belief is ambiguous, equivocal or contrary to written assurances of the firm or its executives, and without any showing of foreclosure. While the foregoing may be considered as an overstatement and that an “agreement” on conditions (not a mere unilateral belief on the part of the customer) is necessary to find a violation, the Commission accords itself so much latitude on how it collects, interprets and weighs evidence that the distinction is illusory.

The compatibility of the Commission Decision with EC competition law will now be examined by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities to which Intel lodged an appeal. Because of the wide-ranging implications of this Decision, not only for Intel but for all large corporations having to negotiate price incentives with their customers, it is to be hoped that the Court of First Instance of the EC will review this decision carefully and hold the Commission to the same rigorous standards it has applied in the merger control area.

An important question (that will not be addressed by the Court of First Instance, but which is nevertheless relevant from a policy standpoint) is whether antitrust intervention was at all needed in a market characterized by increasing output, decreasing prices and sustained innovation. These characteristics alone should raise serious doubt about claims of anti-competitive foreclosure and consumer harm, especially when they are made by competitors. These characteristics also question the Commission’s wisdom of investing large enforcement resources in what turned to be a long and protracted investigation. As this paper will demonstrate, the market for x86 CPUs was competitive and there is no convincing evidence that Intel’s conduct was anti-competitive and foreclosed AMD and harmed consumers.


 

September 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Getting The Deal Through: Merger Control 2011

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Global Competition Review is pleased to announce the publication of Getting The Deal Through: Merger Control 2011.

This fully revised and updated 15th edition is fact checked by leading competition agencies and offers the reader coverage of 65 jurisdictions worldwide including new jurisdictions such as Belarus, Cyprus and Namibia.

Key questions are answered by leading practitioners to enable time-efficient research.

Click here to purchase a copy of the 2011 edition or subscribe online.

September 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reforming Rules and Regulations: Laws, Institutions, and Implementation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vivek Ghosal (Georgia Tech Econ) has edited Reforming Rules and Regulations: Laws, Institutions, and Implementation.

BOOK ABSTRACT: In recent years governments have paid increasing attention to weighing the socioeconomic benefits of regulations against their costs. Rules and regulations governing economic activity are typically formulated with a view to their benefits. Their effects on the costs and inefficiencies, in particular the possible chilling effects on competition and innovation, have received limited attention. In this collection, experts from Europe, the United States, and Asia examine a range of issues related to the effect of rules and regulations on competition, and explore the role of key institutions that affect market outcomes. Their contributions argue for using quantitative methods to guide policy and reform rules and regulation, and many of the essays offer methodologies for assessment and recommendations for policy alternatives.

Topics covered include the effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in OECD countries; the adverse effect of EU climate policy on competitiveness; telecommunication regulation in the developing countries of India, China, and Sri Lanka; the role of banks in fostering small and medium enterprises in Argentina and Chile; the evolution of the U.S. Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System; and developing quantitative screening tools to assess which sectors in the economy might benefit most from regulatory reforms.

Contributors: Victoria Alexeeva-Talebi, Niels Anger, Dallas Burtraw, Martin Cave, Matthew Corkery, Adriaan Dierx, Sean Ennis, W. Scott Frame, Vivek Ghosal, Ivan Hascic, Ivan Hascic, Fabienne Ilzkovitz, Nick Johnstone, Boris Lokshin, Andreas Löschel, María Soledad Martínez Pería, Pradeep S. Mehta, Udai S. Mehta, Malwina Mejer, Siddhartha Mitra, Pierre Mohnen, Karen Palmer, Anthony Paul, Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Sergio L. Schmukler, Augusto de la Torre, Lawrence J. White

September 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Proving Common Impact in Antitrust Class Actions: Current Legal and Economic Thinking

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Proving Common Impact in Antitrust Class Actions: Current Legal and Economic Thinking
October 20, 2010

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM (EDT)
Four Seasons Hotel New York

57 E. 57th Street, New York, NY

 

With issues raised by the In re Hydrogen Peroxide Litigation far from settled and the recent 5-4 decision to affirm class certification in Wal-Mart en banc, economic guidance in addressing proof of common impact is essential. Our panelists will review the legal landscape defined by these landmark cases and offer a systematic way of approaching common methods of proof, including:

  • The legal challenges of class certification in light of the recently decided Dukes v.Wal-Mart case and in the ongoing In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation, with an update on the 9th and 3rd circuits
  • Assessment of merits and whether economic damages can be assessed at the class level
  • A systematic approach to testing whether regression analysis offers a common method of proof to assist the courts in assessing class certification

Panelists:
Edward A. Snyder, Ph.D., George Schultz Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Dean Designate, Yale School of Management
Pierre Y. Cremieux, Ph.D., Managing Principal, Analysis Group
Ian Simmons, Esq., Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Moderator:
Maureen Chakraborty, Ph.D., Managing Principal, Analysis Group

Please join our panel of antitrust experts as they address these issues and your questions at this complimentary breakfast program.

Register: http://www.analysisgroup.com/common_impact_ny_seminar.aspx

September 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

“Assessing market dominance”: a comment and an extension

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vasilis Droucopoulos (University of Athens) and Panagiotis Chronis (Bank of Greece) discuss “Assessing market dominance”: a comment and an extension.

ABSTRACT: Melnik et al. [Melnik, A., Shy, Oz, Stenbacka, R., 2008. Assessing market dominance. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 68, 63-72] have proposed a new statistic to assess market dominance. In this comment we expand their discussion of certain mathematical properties in their analysis and link their methodology to some previous approaches.

September 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Impact of Firm Entry Regulation on Long-living Entrants

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Susanne Prantl (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn) analyzes The Impact of Firm Entry Regulation on Long-living Entrants.

ABSTRACT: What is the impact of firm entry regulation on sustained entry into self-employment? How does firm entry regulation influence the performance of long-living entrants? In this paper, I address these questions by exploiting a natural experiment in firm entry regulation. After German reunification, East and West Germany faced different economic conditions, but fell under the same law that imposes a substantial mandatory standard on entrepreneurs who want to start a legally independent firm in one of the regulated occupations. The empirical results suggest that the entry regulation suppresses long-living entrants, not only entrants in general or transient, short-lived entrants. This effect on the number of long-living entrants is not accompanied by a counteracting effect on the performance of long-living entrants, as measured by firm size several years after entry.

September 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry and Incumbent Innovation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Philipp Weinscheink (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn) has written on Entry and Incumbent Innovation.

ABSTRACT: We explore how the threat of entry influences the innovation activity of an incumbent. We show that the incumbent’s investment is hump-shaped in the entry threat. When the entry threat is small and increases, the incumbent invests more to deter entry, or to make it unlikely. This is due to the entry deterrence effect. However, when the threat becomes huge, entry can no longer profitably be deterred or made unlikely and the investment becomes small. Then the Schumpeterian effect dominates. These results turn out to be very robust.

September 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Myths and Untold Stories - Private Antitrust Enforcement in Germany

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Sebastian Peyer, University of East Anglia - Centre for Competition Policy has a very interesting paper on Myths and Untold Stories - Private Antitrust Enforcement in Germany.  I highly recommend this paper.

ABSTRACT: The paper offers an empirical analysis of private antitrust enforcement in Germany based on cases that were decided by courts between 2005 and 2007. The study presents information about the magnitude and nature of civil antitrust actions in Germany. The data includes inter alia, information about the courts involved in litigation, the relationship of the parties, affected industries, the remedies sought, the outcome of the claim, the alleged anticompetitive conduct, the proportion of stand-alone and follow-on litigation, and the length of proceedings before a given court. The study shows that a large number of private cases were concluded even when compared with public investigations in Germany. It seems that private antitrust actions complement rather than duplicate public enforcement efforts because of the overwhelming proportion of stand-alone claims and the amount of actions based on the abuse of market power. Only a small number of litigants asked for the compensation of loss suffered from anticompetitive conduct. Interpreting the results from the study cautiously, the paper suggests that the European Commission and other stakeholders may have misunderstood the nature of private actions in Germany (and maybe Europe) and, consequently, asked the wrong question, focusing on compensation. Expensive damages actions for the breach of the antitrust rules might not be as important as commonly assumed.

September 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fordham 37th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

37th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy:
Thursday & Friday, September 23 & 24, 2010.
 

The conference will be held at McNally Amphitheater, Fordham Law School, located at 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY.

For more than 30 years, FCLI has hosted the Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy , which is widely recognized as a leading annual events.

Each year, a full, two-day program focuses on a wide range of issues related to antitrust policy and enforcement. Leaders in the field, representing competition authorities, the judiciary, private practice and the academia, regularly contribute to the success of the conference as speakers and discussants.

The conference attracts close to 400 participants, including competition authorities from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin/South America and North America, as well as practitioners and academics

THURSDAY
8:15am
Registration & Breakfast

9:00am 
Welcome

Enforcers’ Perspectives on International Antitrust
A. Paul Victor --- Presider
Alexander Italianer
Jon Leibowitz
Mariana Tavares de Araujo
Jolling de Pree
Barbara Rosenberg
 
2:00pm
Unilateral effects in Merger Analysis
Kevin J. Arquit, Presider
Joseph Farrell
Thorsten Mager
Miguel de la Mano   
Alison Oldale 
Michael  N. Sohn
   
5:20pm
EU Competition Policy
Laurence Sorkin,  Presider
David Anderson
Enrico Adriano Raffaelli
Rein Wesseling

Reception Following 


 

FRIDAY

8:15am
Registration & Breakfast
 
9:00am
Competition Policy, Abusive Dominance and Economic Development
Frederic Jenny, Presider
Maher Dabbah
Dennis Davis
William Kovacic
Tad Lipsky
Eduardo Perez Motta

LUNCHEON --- Ken Auletta. New Yorker
  
2:00pm
Antitrust in the Digital Environment
Daniel A. Crane,  Presider
Paul T. Cappuccio
John Frank
Lawrence A. Jacobs
Damien Neven 
Carl Shapiro 
Hal R.Varian

5:00pm
End of conference

September 19, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Competition Law in a Global Context Lecture: Competition Law and Policy in Latin America

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

You are invited to a Centre for Law and Economics (Competition, Regulation and Public Policy Section), Competition Law in a Global Context Lecture:  

Competition Law and Policy in Latin America
On Thursday 23 September from 5 ­ 7pm
Moot Court, UCL Faculty of Laws

Speakers:
* Chair: Ioannis Lianos (UCL)
* Paulo Montt (University of Santiago, Partner: Ferrada Nehme)
* Javier Tapia (University College London, OFGEM)
* Julian Pena (University of Buenos Aires, Partner: Allende & Brea)
* Juan David Gutierrez (Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia))
* Pablo Marquez (Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia))

About this event:
This event will be divided in two parts.

The first part will provide a critical assessment of the enforcement of competition law in some key jurisdictions in Spanish-speaking Latin America focusing on cartel enforcement (in particular leniency policy), abuse of dominance, the intersection of competition law and regulation, merger control, private enforcement (including private actions for antitrust damages).

The second part will discuss horizontal approaches, including convergence and harmonisation of competition laws across Latin America, the influence of European and US models of Competition law (substance and enforcement) and the development of specific Latin American models.

The event will also discuss the following issues:
* The scope of competition law in Latin America: has it expanded? What are the areas that are still exempted from the application of competition law (the ones that tend to be different than in the EU or the US)?
* How are competition law principles integrated in all areas of public action?
* What would competition advocacy achieve in these jurisdictions?
* Is the judicial and regulatory system (institutions) adequate for a sophisticated and economically oriented competition law?
* What is the degree of discretion that is recognized to competition authorities? How due process is preserved? In particular for foreign firms. Suggestions for reforms.
* How does the level of economic development and broader culture affect the application of competition law?


Schedule
Registration from 4.30pm
Seminar: 5pm
Drinks reception: 7pm

Please sign up online at: http://latin-america.eventbrite.com/

About the Competition Law in a Global Context Speaker Series
Convened by Dr. Ioannis Lianos (UCL), the Competition Law in a Global Context Speaker Series aim to critically examine the evolution of competition law enforcement in several parts of the world. More than 100 jurisdictions have now developed competition law statutes and many actively enforce it. The series will delve into important issues of practical and theoretical importance for practitioners, academics and graduate students interested in the enforcement of competition law in foreign jurisdictions.

Previous talks in the series included US Antitrust Law under an Obama Administration: One year on. A forthcoming talk is Cartels and Corporate Compliance.

The series forms part of UCL's increasing engagement with the study of comparative competition law and global competition law enforcement. The Centre for Law and Economics (Public Policy Section) at UCL has signed a research partnership agreement with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and members of UCL faculty participate actively to the work of the International Competition Network (ICN).

September 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted or Patented Products and the First Sale Doctrine

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Herb Hovenkamp (Iowa Law) has posted Resale Price Maintenance: Consignment Agreements, Copyrighted or Patented Products and the First Sale Doctrine.

ABSTRACT: The rule of reason adopted for resale price maintenance in the Supreme Court’s Leegin decision, which upset the century old Dr. Miles rule of per se illegality, requires some reconsideration of a number of issues about antitrust treatment of RPM. Under the old per se rule, bona fide “consignment” agreements were not covered by Section 1 of the Sherman Act at all because there was said to be no qualifying “agreement” between the supplier and the dealer. Rather the dealer was simply said to be acting as an agent of the seller. However, insofar as RPM produces competitive dangers, such as those occasioned by powerful dealers, these harms do not seem to depend on whether the transfer from the supplier to the dealer was a sale or a consignment.

Secondly, while Leegin took RPM in one direction, applying a rule of reason to conduct that had previously been unlawful per se, the Supreme Court’s Quanta Computer decision went in the other direction, restoring an invariant rule prohibiting resale price maintenance requirements from being enforced by means of patent infringement suits.

September 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Consumer Loss Aversion and the Intensity of Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Heiko Karle (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Martin Peitz (University of Mannheim) address Consumer Loss Aversion and the Intensity of Competition.

ABSTRACT: Consider a differentiated product market in which all consumers are fully informed about match value and price at the time they make their purchasing decision. Initially, consumers become informed about the prices of all products in the market but do not know the match values. Some consumers have reference-dependent utilities—i.e., they form a reference-point distribution with respect to match value and price that will make them realize gains or losses if their eventually chosen product performs better or, respectively, worse than their reference point in both dimensions. Loss aversion in the match-value dimension leads to a less competitive outcome, while loss aversion in the price dimension leads to a more competitive equilibrium than a market in which consumers are not subject to reference dependence. Depending on the weights consumers attach to the price and the match-value dimension, a market with loss-averse cons! umers may be more or less competitive than a market with consumers that do not have reference-dependent utilities. We also show that consumer loss aversion tends to lead to higher prices if the market accommodates a larger number of firms.

September 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google is Bad - Just Ask Rick Rule (and Microsoft)

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Rick Rule of Cadwalader has an op-ed against Google in today's Wall Street Journal. He states:

Again like Microsoft, Google claims its antitrust problems are the result of a cabal of disgruntled competitors. And it is true that Microsoft's rivals such as Mr. Schmidt's Sun and Novell provided much of the evidence, and at least some of the impetus, against Microsoft. But in monopolization cases, which are about exclusion of rivals from the marketplace, it is almost always the excluded victims who blow the whistle on monopolists.

Unlike Microsoft, however, Google so far has offered little more than cursory justifications for its actions. Microsoft at least believed what it was doing reflected its innovation, which, though perhaps rough on rivals, benefited consumers.

September 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Private Competition Litigation in Canada

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Davit Akman, Adam Fanaki, & Mark Katz (Davies Ward) discuss Private Competition Litigation in Canada.

ABSTRACT: Private competition litigation, particularly class action litigation, is an area of growing importance in Canada. In recent years, private actions have played an increasingly prominent role in the enforcement of competition law in Canada. The Canadian regime incorporates many elements of U.S. private antitrust litigation, while preserving a number of Canadian aspects intended to guard against abuses of the system, such as awarding compensatory damages only and not treble damages. The Canadian system may provide some useful lessons for those jurisdictions contemplating a move towards increased private litigation.

This note is intended to provide a brief overview of private competition litigation in Canada, as well as to highlight recent and potentially significant statutory and jurisprudential developments which could further increase the importance of private competition litigation in this country.

September 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Price regulation in oligopoly

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Luis C. Corchón - Economics, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid and Félix Marcos - Economics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid describe Price regulation in oligopoly.

ABSTRACT: In this paper we consider price regulation in oligopolistic markets when firms are quantity setters. We consider a market for a homogeneous good with a special form of the demand function (Ï-linearity), constant returns to scale and identical firms. Marginal costs can take two values only: low or high. The regulator knows all parameters except marginal costs. Assuming that the regulator is risk neutral, we characterize the optimal policy and show how this policy depends on the basic parameter of demand and costs

September 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)