Friday, January 27, 2012

Conference Announcement: Buyer Power in Competition Law - Tuesday 15 May 2012 0930

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Buyer Power in Competition Law

Tuesday 15 May 2012 0930

bullet Venue: St Catherine's College Mary Sunley Lecture Theatre

Organised by Centre for Competition Law & Policy in conjunction with Oxford/Stockholm Wallenberg Venture

Buyer power enables a single buyer, or a group of buyers, to influence or dictate the terms of trade with upstream suppliers. This power may stem from strategic advantages enjoyed by the purchaser. Alternatively, it may derive from the attainment of a dominant or collective dominant position on the input market. 

Powerful buyers are capable of obtaining favourable commercial terms and extract greater value from the upstream suppliers. Such power, and the subsequent reduction in input costs, may lead to reduction in price to consumers and increase consumer welfare. This is often facilitated by economies of scale and efficiencies in distribution. These efficiencies, and the greater values extracted from the upstream suppliers may often benefits consumers and enhance consumer welfare. Yet at times, buyer power may have adverse effects on welfare. Powerful buyers may refrain from passing savings to consumers, increase the output price, distort competition upstream and abuse their market power. 

The assessment of the welfare effects generated by buyer power is often challenging. It depends on the nature of buyer power, being monopsony or bargaining power, and the market characteristics. It requires careful balancing between short, mid, and long term welfare effects.

The one day event will bring together leading academics, practitioners and competition officials to discuss questions of policy, economics and law. The discussion will focus on the treatment of buyer power in merger analysis, the dividing line between buying alliances and buyer cartels, and the possible abuse of buyer power. The effects of buyer power in the retail and agricultural sectors will also be explored.


Speakers include:

Claes Bengtsson, European Commission

Matthew Bennett, Office of Fair Trading

Ulf Bernitz, Oxford IECL

Peter Carstensen, University of Wisconsin Law School

Cristina Caffarra, CRA

Ariel Ezrachi, Oxford CCLP 

Lars Henriksson, Stockholm School of Economics

Matthew Johnson, OXERA

Jack Kirckwood, Seattle University School of Law

Birgit Krueger, Bundeskartellamt

Andrew McCarthy, British Brands

Michael Rowe, Slaughter and May

Howard Smith, Oxford University

Maurice E. Stucke, University of Tennessee

John Thanassoulis, Oxford University

Bob Young, Europe Economics


The cost of the conference is £50 which includes a registration fee, lunch, refreshments and all conference materials. To register and pay please click here.

This conference is accredited with CPD hours by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board. Number of accredited hours to be confirmed. 

bullet For more information on this event, please contact: Jenny Dix

bullet The Conference Programme can be viewed here (Acrobat PDF file)

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