Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cost Recovery of Congested Infrastructure Under Market Power

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Erik T. Verhoef, VU University Amsterdam addresses Cost Recovery of Congested Infrastructure Under Market Power.

ABSTRACT: The famous Mohring-Harwitz theorem states that, under certain technical conditions, the degree of self-financing of congested infrastructure is equal to the elasticity of the capacity cost function in the optimum, so that under neutral scale economies exact self-financing applies. Although the theorem has been proven to remain valid for various extensions of the basic set-up for which it was originally derived, it breaks down when the infrastructure is used by operators with market power when competing in Cournot fashion, the case in point often being oligopolistic airlines at a congested airport. This paper proposes a regulatory scheme, not involving lump-sum payments or budget constraints in the optimal pricing problem, that restores self-financing for congested infrastructure for this market form. What is more, under the proposed scheme, exact self-financing applies independent of the elasticity of the capacity cost function. The result remains true both for the case where operators treat the tolls parametrically, and for 'manipulable' tolls, designed to account for the fact that operators with market power can be expected to be aware of, and exploit, the fact that toll are not truly parametric, but instead depend on their own behaviour.

August 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Downstream Entry and Efficiency

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Fabian Herweg, University of Bonn and Daniel Muller, University of Bonn address Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Downstream Entry and Efficiency.

ABSTRACT: The extant theory on price discrimination in input markets takes the structure of the downstream industry as exogenously given. This paper endogenizes the structure of the downstream industry and examines the effects of permitting third‐degree price discrimination on market structure and welfare. We identify situations where permitting price discrimination leads to either higher or lower wholesale prices for all downstream firms. These findings are driven by upstream profits being discontinuous due to costly entry. Moreover, permitting price discrimination fosters entry which often improves welfare. Nevertheless, entry can also reduce welfare because it may lead to a severe inefficiency in production.

August 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Endogenous Market Structures and Welfare

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Federico Etro, Ca Foscari University of Venice explains Endogenous Market Structures and Welfare.

ABSTRACT: I characterize microfounded endogenous market structures with Bertrand and Cournot competition and perform welfare analysis generalizing the Mankiw-Whinston condition for excess entry. The impact of market leaders on welfare is reconsidered, with a number of policy implications about strategic investments, vertical contracts, bundling, mergers and . The neutrality of consumer surplus holds only when utility is homothetic. Under quantity competition, aggressive (accommodating) leaders increase consumer surplus if the elasticity of utility is decreasing (increasing) in consumption. This provides general rules to evaluate mergers and abuse of dominance issues in antitrust policy.

August 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Competition Policy Control over Intellectual Property Abuses: Some Lessons from Latin America

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ignacio De Leon, Catholic University Andres Bello (UCAB) explores Competition Policy Control over Intellectual Property Abuses: Some Lessons from Latin America.

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the interaction between Intellectual Property (IP) protection and competition policy in Latin America, as well as the institutional difficulties of Latin American countries in making progress towards an increased control of IP abuses. The first part gives a summary of the current state of IP protection in the region; the second part, highlights areas of interaction between IP protection and competition policy; the third part explores some of the institutional problems undermining the capacity of competition agencies to effectively redress IP competitive abuses.

August 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Consumers Are The Winners In The Visa/Mastercard Antitrust Settlement

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Todd Zywicki (Geroge Mason) claims Consumers Are The Winners In The Visa/Mastercard Antitrust Settlement in an op-ed for Forbes.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Positioning Competition Policy in Chile: Outreach, Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Mario Ybar & Fernando Araya (Fiscalia Nacional Economica, Chile) explore Positioning Competition Policy in Chile: Outreach, Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

ABSTRACT: Chile is one of the countries that have pioneered the introduction of market reforms since the end of the seventies. Market reforms have transformed the country's landscape in the last 35 years, together with increase in population, and have contributed to increases in per capita income. Competition policy has been an integral part of these reforms, the Competition Act being enacted in 1973.

Competition policy, as understood today by most jurisdictions, is served by two major tools: competition law enforcement and competition advocacy. The boundaries of the enforcement of competition law are relatively clear, since enforcement actions should abide by the principles of rule of law, due process guarantees, and so on. As to competition advocacy, the case is different. A competition policy not clearly and explicitly defined may mean different things to different people.

Thus, a major challenge of positioning competition policy is to promote a consensus around a conception of competition in each of the instances where such a conception is disputed; a consensus that defines certain benefits that can outweigh all the potential downsides of competition. Such a challenge, when the instruments used are those of outreach and advocacy, implies deploying efforts in segmenting audiences. Considering different competition outreach and advocacy initiatives undertaken by the Fiscalía Nacional Económica ("FNE") in recent years, it appears that segmenting audiences has been crucial in all of them.

Following, we will briefly describe some of these initiatives with references to the target audience and the core message in each case. Short references to the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in order to avoid litigation costs, are addressed before the concluding remarks.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Revolution, Evolution and Devolution: Overview of the Past Twenty Years of Competition Legislation in Serbia

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vladimir Pavic, University of Belgrade - Faculty of Law describes Revolution, Evolution and Devolution: Overview of the Past Twenty Years of Competition Legislation in Serbia.

ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes twenty years of competition policy in Serbia until 2011. It analyzes economic, political and legislative factors which have shaped the way in which the competition policy was established, both initially and in the reforms that followed. A particular attention is devoted to the institutional design and public law considerations of establishing the Competition Comission as a regulatory body, as well as technical and policy shortcomings of 2005 and 2009 reforms.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Save the Date for AAI's Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference December 4, 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

6th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference

Event Date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Location: 
National Press Club, Washington DC

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, the American Antitrust Institute will host its 6th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Tuition for this program is $250 with a discounted rate of $50 for government employees, educators, public interest advocates, and students.

Panel Descriptions

Employment Antitrust Litigation
A discussion of key issues in major cases involving hospital nurses, petroleum industry employees, high tech employees, medical residents, and others. Such issues include: Can a class be certified? How can monopsony power be proved? When are information exchanges unlawful? What damages models are available?

Current Status and Trends in Use of Truncated or "Quick Look" Analysis
Andrew Gavil presents his new paper "Moving Beyond Caricature and Characterization: The Modern Rule of Reason in Practice" and Jonathan Baker presents his new paper "Exclusion as a Core Competition Concern" followed by a discussion of the history and recent development of truncated analysis including how courts are wrongly confining its use and might apply it more effectively across a wider range of conduct.

Litigation in Regulated Industries
Experts will explore recent developments in the insurance and energy industries and how those developments affect the private enforcement of antitrust law.

Class Action Developments
Panel will discuss recent developments in Rule 23 jurisprudence in antitrust cases, including continuing developments in the law of predominance post-Hydrogen Peroxide, the effects of the Supreme Court's decisions in Concepcion and Dukes, and the changing role of economists at the class certification stage. Panel will also consider what the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has in store for possible changes to Rule 23.

AAI Jury Instruction Project
An update on progress on the antitrust jury instructions project, including materials prepared on one or more instructions. The AAI jury instructions will provide an alternative to the ABA Model Jury Instructions. We will also discuss possible next steps (e.g., focus groups, testing for comprehension).

 
Up to 5 CLE credits are expected. 

Networking opportunities have been built into the program, including breakfast, a networking break, and a cocktail reception.

Speakers include: 
  • Jonathan Baker, Professor, American University's Washington College of Law
  • F. Paul Bland, Jr., Senior Attorney, Public Justice
  • Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Partner, Lieff Cabraser; Federal Civil Rules Committee
  • Eric Cramer, Shareholder, Berger & Montague, P.C.
  • Joshua P. Davis, Professor and Director, Center for Law and Ethics, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Bert Foer, President, American Antitrust Institute
  • Kathleen Foote, Senior Assistant Attorney General, California Department of Justice
  • Andrew I. Gavil, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law
  • Daniel E. Gustafson, Partner, Gustafson Gluek PLLC
  • Peter Kohn, Partner, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
  • Joseph R Saveri, Founder, Joseph Saveri Law Firm
  • Dan Small, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
  • Gregory Vistnes, Vice President, Charles River Associates
  • Shannon Wheatman, Kinsella Media, LLC

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commitment Decisions in the EU and in the Member States: Functions and Risks of a New Instrument of Competition Law Enforcement within a Federal Enforcement Regime

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Heike Schweitzer, University of Mannheim explores Commitment Decisions in the EU and in the Member States: Functions and Risks of a New Instrument of Competition Law Enforcement within a Federal Enforcement Regime.

ABSTRACT: Commitment decisions are a relatively new instrument of competition law enforcement both in the EU and in the Member States. They provide a competition authority with a tool to handle certain complex competition cases quickly and flexibly where the parties are willing to cooperate. Yet, commitment decisions under article 9 of Reg. 1/03 have also raised important concerns, as they allow for a development of competition policies largely outside the realm of judicial review. Not much attention has been given to the spreading of similar instruments at the level of the Member States so far. This paper sets out to compare the commitment decision policies and practices in the EU and in the Member States. At a practical level, commitment decisions are used by NCAs predominantly either as a substitute for the former conditional exemptions under article 101(3) TFEU and/or to implement a policy clearly outlined by the EU Commission – whether by way of sector inquiries, infringement decisions or commitment decisions. The latter use is unobjectionable where the relevant legal issues have been clarified by the EU courts; yet, where this not the case, and the NCAs implement a policy developed by the Commission outside the scope of judicial review, the concerns raised against article 9-decisions are aggravated. The concerns regarding the use of commitment decisions could be mitigated if NCAs would systematically weigh the interests of administrative efficiency that may argue in their favor against the public interest in public censure, deterrence and the development of legal doctrine which should constrain the use of commitment decisions. In part, NCAs have indeed formulated policies that require them to do so. Also, commitment decisions are arguably subject to stricter forms of judicial review in some Member States. In the medium run, the decentralized experimentation with different commitment decision policies may hold important insights also for the EU Commission and the Union courts.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Antitrust Institutions

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Oliver Budzinski, Ilmenau University of Technology, University of Southern Denmark - Department of Environmental and Business Economics describes International Antitrust Institutions.

ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the economic theory of international antitrust institutions. Economic theory shows that non-coordinated competition poli-cies of regimes that are territorially smaller than the international markets on which business companies compete violate cross-border allocative efficiency and are deficient with respect to global welfare. At the same time, some diversity of antitrust institutions and policies promotes dynamic and evolutionary efficiency so that globally binding, worldwide homogenous competition rules do not represent a first-best solution either. After reviewing the existing international antitrust institutions and their prospects and limits from an economic perspective (with a focus on the International Competition Network, ICN), the paper discusses reform proposals from economic literature.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abuse of Administrative Power to Restrict Competition in China: Four Reflections, Two Ideas and a Thought

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Mel Marquis, European University Institute, University of Verona has written on Abuse of Administrative Power to Restrict Competition in China: Four Reflections, Two Ideas and a Thought.

ABSTRACT: This chapter of the book embarks on an extensive discussion of the treatment by China's Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) of anticompetitive government restrictions (i.e., abuses of "administrative monopoly"). Without suggesting an 'emulation imperative', the chapter takes as a comparative frame the long and fascinating European experience with the treatment of anticompetitive public measures under the Treaty of Rome, as most recently amended by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The chapter builds on the extant literature relating to the AML and advocates steps to enhance the effectiveness of Chapter V of the AML ("abusve of administrative power to restrict competition") via ex ante and ex post instruments.

August 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Enforcement "Plus:" The FTC's Business Education Efforts

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kelly Signs (FTC) explains Enforcement "Plus:" The FTC's Business Education Efforts.

ABSTRACT: Law enforcement can have obvious consequences for the targets of investigations, but it can also affect the conduct of other businesses. Research shows that the vast majority of businesses want to comply with legal requirements, not just to avoid sanctions but also to maintain a reputation as an ethical business. Informed businesses can anticipate the consequences of a particular course of action, thereby reducing uncertainty about potential legal pitfalls and increasing compliance with prevailing legal standards. Yet to comply, businesses must be aware of a wide variety of laws, rules, and guidelines governing their conduct.

As the only U.S. agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy, the Federal Trade Commission enforces laws and regulations aimed at protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive, or anticompetitive conduct. Long ago, the FTC recognized that preventing law violations is even more important than detecting and punishing violators, and that educating businesses about legal requirements encourages them to avoid policies and practices that might later be found to be unfair, deceptive, or anticompetitive. Preventing conduct that is likely to harm consumers leads to obvious, if difficult to calculate, benefits-for both consumers and the businesses themselves. Moreover, effective and efficient FTC enforcement promotes policies that encourage competition on the merits and truthful, non-deceptive information, which leads to lower prices, better service, and more choices.

Some statutes and regulations enforced by the FTC are very specific in their proscriptions, but the FTC's primary statute, the Federal Trade Commission Act, is very broadly worded, in keeping with the common law approach to U.S. antitrust and consumer protection law. Although this allows the FTC to adapt its enforcement approach to the changing nature of competition and consumer behavior, it can present a challenge for a business that wants to remain up-to-date on legal requirements. As a result, the need for business education is particularly acute in areas of the law governed by general standards of conduct, areas such as monopolization, advertising substantiation, and consumer privacy. Here, business education can be a cost effective supplement to law enforcement by "filling in the gaps" and explaining sometimes esoteric legal concepts in language easy for a businessperson to understand and act upon. It can also build support for a culture of competitiveness in which every business has the same opportunity to succeed because legal standards are understood and applied uniformly to all competitors.

Businesses-and consumers-deserve assurance that law enforcement is predictable and tied to basic principles of fairness and truthfulness. To that end, the FTC makes public all of its enforcement decisions, and publishes many other types of documents that help to explain its work, as well as providing opportunities for formal and informal feedback on its efforts. By coupling the announcement of enforcement actions with other types of business education, the FTC leverages its limited resources to expand the reach of its law enforcement efforts and encourage compliance. And businesses that are knowledgeable about the work of the FTC and the laws it enforces are more likely to spot potential law violations or support the FTC's investigative work by providing relevant information when asked.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Behavioral Exploitation Antitrust in Consumer Subprime Mortgage Lending

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Max Huffman, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Daniel B. Heidtke, Loyola University Chicago School of Law have an interesting paper on Behavioral Exploitation Antitrust in Consumer Subprime Mortgage Lending.

ABSTRACT: We analyze whether antitrust might provide an alternative and perhaps superior approach to regulating consumer subprime mortgage lending. Behavioral exploitation antitrust targets commercial conduct of the sort that was observed in consumer subprime mortgage lending in the years leading up to 2007. The welfare effects of that conduct are easily established. Antitrust-based regulation can mitigate those welfare effects. Regulation that does exist, which operates at the level of the individual transaction, may be easily avoided, may be short-sighted, may suffer from enforcement problems that public choice theory explains, and/or may overreach by removing consumer choice. We show that antitrust enforcement under a rule of reason approach avoids those pitfalls. However, none of the three primary approaches to antitrust enforcement – prohibitions of anticompetitive conduct by a dominant firm, prohibitions of anticompetitive agreements, and prohibitions of mergers with incipient anticompetitive effects – in their current form permit resort to antitrust remedies in the consumer subprime mortgage market. We argue that liberalized standards for antitrust enforcement under both Clayton Act section 7 (regulating mergers) and Sherman Act section 1 (regulating concerted conduct), perhaps restricted narrowly to this and closely analogous markets, would be appropriate to gain the benefits of regulation through behavioral exploitation antitrust.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Screening for Collusion: A Spatial Statistics Approach

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Pim Heijnen, University of Groningen , Marco A. Haan, University of Groningen, and Adriaan R. Soetevent, University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics, Tinbergen Institute offer up thoughts on Screening for Collusion: A Spatial Statistics Approach.

ABSTRACT: We develop a method to screen for local cartels. We first test whether there is statistical evidence of clustering of outlets that score high on some characteristic that is consistent with collusive behavior. If so, we determine in a second step the most suspicious regions where further antitrust investigation would be warranted. We apply our method to build a variance screen for the Dutch gasoline market.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Competitive Stumbling Stones on the Way to a Cleaner World: Protecting Competition in Innovation without a Market

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Josef Drexl, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law has written on Anti-Competitive Stumbling Stones on the Way to a Cleaner World: Protecting Competition in Innovation without a Market.

ABSTRACT: Firms do not only compete by price. Another parameter of competition is innovation. This raises the question of how competition law should assess potential restraints of competition in innovation. Modern competition policy advocates an effects-based approach which analyzes cases in the light of the economic effects on relevant markets. Also firms compete in existing markets when they try to improve their products sold in these markets or optimize processes for manufacturing those products. However, as it was first discussed in merger control law, an analysis limited to the effects on existing markets may fail to assess cases appropriately when firms are not yet competitors, but dispose of innovation capacity for future markets. Whereas a merger among such firms will not harm existing price competition, it may well have a negative effect on the incentives to innovate of the new firm. For addressing this phenomenon, the U.S. agencies in particular started to analyse cases also in the light of so-called “innovation markets” in the 1990s. Yet, this new approach was also criticized. Indeed, the idea of an innovation market remained at best a metaphor since there are no transactions between suppliers and customers of innovation before tradable technologies and products emerge from R&D efforts. Therefore, both the most recent US Horizontal Merger Guidelines and the EU Guidelines on Horizontal Cooperation Agreements have now given up the “innovation market” concept in favor of a US “innovation competition” and EU “competition in innovation” concept. This change confirms that competition in innovation takes place outside and before the emergence of markets. If this is so, modern competition law, which strongly focuses on an approach based on market analysis, may pose a major problem regarding its capability to address restraints of competition in innovation appropriately. The following article analysis this problem against the background of EU competition law for the different fields of enforcement – mergers, agreements and unilateral conduct – by also taking into account most recent cases. The article highlights that an analysis based on the effects on existing markets can only work as a rough proxy in such cases. Most importantly, in the field of unilateral conduct, the requirement of market dominance at the time of the abuse under Article 102 TFEU considerably limits the capability of enforcers to act against restraints of competition in innovation.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brands, Competition, and the Law October 19, 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Brands, Competition, and the Law

An Interdisciplinary Conference Sponsored by the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and the Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES) at University College London

October 19, 2012

Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 10th Floor
Powers Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 25 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL 60611

 

This program has been approved for 5.0 Hours of Illinois Continuing Legal Education Credit

 

To Register visit www.luc.edu/antitrust/event-payment

 

Brands matter. In modern times, brands and brand management have become a central feature of the modern economy and a staple of business theory and business practice. Coca-Cola, Nike, Google,
Disney, Apple, Microsoft, BMW, Marlboro, IBM, Kellogg’s, Louis-Vuitton, and Virgin are all large companies, but they are also brands that present powerful, valuable tools for business. Business is fully aware of that power and value.

Contrary to the law’s conception of trademarks, brands are used to indicate far more than source and/or quality. Indeed those functions are far down on the list of what most businesses want
for their brands. Brands allow businesses to reach consumers directly with messages regarding emotion, identity, and self-worth such that consumers are no longer buying a product but buying a brand. Businesses pursue that strategy to move beyond price, product, place, and position and create the idea that a consumer should buy a branded good or service at a higher price than the consumer might otherwise pay.

Branding explicitly contemplates reducing or eliminating price competition as the brand personality cannot be duplicated. In addition, this practice can be understood as a product differentiation tactic
which allows a branded good to turn a commodity into a special category that sees higher margins compared to the others in that market space. In other words, brands have important effects on competition and the marketplace.

The aim of this conference is to reflect on the legal, business, and economic understanding of brands by explaining what brands are,  how they function, and the role brands play in business competition. The conference will also delve into specific issues raised by branding in the 21st century business competition, such as the challenges raised by online business and the increasing role of private labels in distribution.

List of Participants

Deven Desai, Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School

Kirsten Edwards-Warren, Director of Economics, Office of Fair Trading, UK

Phil Evans, FIPRA International

Warren Grimes, Professor, Southwestern Law School

Greg Gundlach, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, University of North Florida Business School

James Langenfeld, Navigent Consulting

Ioannis Lianos, Reader in Competition Law and Economics, University College London

Deborah Majorus, General Counsel, Proctor & Gamble

Mark McKenna, Professor Law, Notre Dame Law School

John D. Mittelstaedt, Chair, Department of Management and Marketing, University of Wyoming College of Business

John Noble, Director, British Brands Group

Barak Orbach, Professor Law, University of Arizona James E. Rodgeres College of Law

Joan Phillips, Professor, Quinlan School of Business and Director of Integrated Marketing Program, Loyola University Chicago

Matthew Sag, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Eliot Schreiber, COO Cloverleaf Innovation

Spencer Weber Waller, Professor and Director, Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

 

Tentative Program

 

9:00          Registration and Continental Breakfast

 

9:30         Welcome- Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago

 

9:40          Brands and Price Theory Chair, Ioannis Lianos, UCL

                 Brands and EU Competition Law: More Sword
Than Shield

                 James Langenfeld, Navigent Consulting

                 Kirsten Edwards-Warren, Office of Fair Trading, UK

                 Phil Evans, FIPRA International

 

11:00        Coffee Break

 

11:15        Brands and Business Theory

Chair, Joan Phillips, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

                 John Noble, BBG

                 Individuals, Markets and Business Competitiveness

                 Greg Gundlach, UNF

                 A Marketing Perspective on Brands in Antitrust

                 Eliot Schreiber, Cloverleaf Innovation, Commentator

 

12:30        Buffet Lunch

 

1:00          Brands and Competition Law

Chair, Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Antitrust’s Brand Blindness

                 Deborah Majorus, Proctor & Gamble

 

                 Barak Orbach, Arizona

                 Branding Preferences and Antitrust Premises

Warren Grimes, Southwestern

 

2:30          Brands and IP Law

Chair, Matthew Sag, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

                 Deven Desai, Thomas Jefferson Law School

                 Networks, Information, and Brands

                 Mark McKenna, Notre Dame Law School

                 Brand Mercantilism

                 John D. Mittelstaedt, University of Wyoming

Trademark Dilution and the Management of Brands

 

3:45          Closing Remarks and Reception

 

Registration Fees and Information

 

For Those Seeking Illinois Continuing Legal Education Credit

Free          Current LUC Faculty, Staff, Students, and Members of the Institute Advisory Board

$  75         Government and Public Interest Attorneys

$130         Loyola University Chicago School of Law Alumni

$155         All Others

 

Attendance
without ICLE Credit

Free          LUC Students, Staff, Professors, and Members of the Institute Advisory Board

$50          All Others

 

To Register: Please www.luc.edu/antitrust/event-payment.

For additional information please contact Professor
Spencer Waller at swalle1@luc.edu
or Ms. Chris Nemes at cnemes@luc.edu.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bargaining, Vertical Mergers and Entry

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Geza Sapi (Dusseldorf Institute for Competition Economics – DICE) explores Bargaining, Vertical Mergers and Entry.

ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes vertical integration incentives in a bilaterally duopolistic industry where upstream producers bargain with downstream retailers on terms of supply. In the applied framework integration does not a¤ect the total output produced, but it affects the distribution of rents among players. Vertical integration incentives depend on the strength of substitutability or complementarity between products and the shape of the unit cost function. I demonstrate furthermore that in contrast to the widely prevailing view in competition policy, vertical integration can under particular circumstances convey more bargaining power to the merged entity than a horizontal merger to monopoly. The model is applied to analyze strategic merger incentives to influence entry decisions. Mergers can facilitate and deter entry. While horizontal mergers to deter entry are never profitable, firms on different market levels may strategically choose to integrate vertically to keep a potential entrant out of the market. I provide conditions for such entry-deterring vertical mergers to occur.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The case of South Staffordshire/Cambridge: is clearer water emerging?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

OXERA asks The case of South Staffordshire/Cambridge: is clearer water emerging?

ABSTRACT: In May 2012, the UK Competition Commission cleared a water merger without requiring any undertakings: the first time this has happened in the history of the privatised water sector. Building on previous analysis, the CC changed its approach to valuing the detriments to regulation of the water sector caused by mergers. Along with proposed changes to the merger regime being put forward in the Draft Water Bill, this case should provide clearer guidance to those considering acquisitions in the sector.

August 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tribunal may determine competition jurisprudence

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Rahul Singh (National Law School India - Bangalore) has an op-ed in Mint (Indian Wall Street Journal affiliate) on how the Tribunal may determine competition jurisprudence.

August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION TO HOLD

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

From the press release:

The Department of Justice and the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that they will hold a joint public workshop on  most-favored-nation clauses (MFNs) on Sept.10, 2012, to explore the use of MFN clauses and the implications  for antitrust enforcement and policy. 

The most commonly used MFN  provisions guarantee a customer that it will receive prices that are at least  as favorable as those provided to other buyers of the same seller, for the same  products or services.  Although at times employed for benign  purposes, MFNs can under certain circumstances present competitive  concerns.  This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant  buyer of intermediate goods, raise other buyers’ costs or foreclose would-be  competitors from accessing the market.  Additionally,  MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.

The workshop will offer an  opportunity for businesses, academics, economists, lawyers and other interested  parties to consider the use of MFNs and the legal and economic analyses of  these provisions.  The workshop will  consist of a series of panels examining, among other topics, the legal  treatment of MFNs, economic theories concerning MFNs and why they are used, and  industry experiences with MFNs.   Panelists for the workshop will include private attorneys, economists  and industry representatives.

The Department of Justice and the  FTC are interested in receiving comments on MFNs, and will accept written  submissions from the public before the workshop and until Oct.10, 2012, 30 days  after the event.  Interested parties may  submit public comments to ATR.LPS-MFNPublicWorkshop@usdoj.gov.  Submitted comments will be made publicly  available on the Department of Justice and FTC websites.

The all-day workshop is free and  open to the public.  Individuals are  encouraged, but not required, to register in advance for the workshop by  sending an email to ATR.LPS-MFNWorkshopRSVP@usdoj.gov.  Please include “RSVP” in the subject  line.  Seating will be on a first-come,  first-serve basis. 

The workshop will take place at the  FTC's satellite conference center at 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC from  9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 10, 2012.   It will include the following panels and presentations:

Economic  Theories of MFNs: Harms and Efficiencies

Presenters
      Jonathan  Baker, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
      Judith A. Chevalier, William  S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics, Yale
           School of Management

Moderators
      Robert  Majure, Economics Director of Enforcement, Antitrust Division, U.S.
           Department of Justice
      Daniel  O’Brien, Senior Economic Policy Advisor,  Federal Trade Commission

Empirical Evidence on Effects of MFNs

Presenter
      Ramsey  Shehadah, Senior Vice President, NERA Consulting

Panel 
      Jonathan  Baker, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
      Judith A. Chevalier, William  S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics, Yale
           School  of Management
      Ramsey  Shehadah, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting

Moderators
      Robert  Majure, Economics Director of Enforcement, Antitrust Division, U.S.
           Department of Justice
      Daniel  O’Brien, Senior Economic Policy Advisor,  Federal Trade Commission   

Legal Treatment of MFNs

Panel
      Doug  Anderson, Of Counsel, Bailey Cavalieri LLC
      Andrew I.  Gavil, Incoming Director, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade
           Commission
      Elai Katz,  Partner, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP
      Janet L.  McDavid, Partner, Hogan Lovells

Moderator
      Peter J.  Levitas, Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission

Lunchtime SpeechNelson  Jung, Director, Markets and Projects, U.K. Office of Fair Trading

MFNs: From Theory to the Real World

Panel
      W. Thomas  McGough Jr., Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, University of 
           Pittsburgh Medical Center
      Murray N. Ross,  Ph.D., Vice President & Director, Institute of Health Policy, Kaiser 
           Permanente
      Melissa A. Scanlan, Director, Legal  Affairs, T-Mobile USA, Inc
      John  Thorne, Partner, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC           
      Mark D.  Whitener, Senior Counsel, General Electric Co.

Moderator
      Martha S.  Samuelson, President & CEO, Analysis Group Inc.

Moving Forward – How Has Thinking about MFNs Evolved and Where Might It  Go?

Panel
      David I.  Gelfand, Partner, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP
      Jonathan M. Jacobson, Partner,  Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
      Joseph  Kattan, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
      Steven C.  Salop, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Moderator
      Renata  Hesse, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Enforcement, Antitrust
           Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Directions to the FTC’s Conference Center are available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/transportationguide.shtml.

Reasonable accommodations for people with  disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via email  to skonstandt@ftc.gov or by calling Samantha Konstandt at 202-326-3348. Requests should be made in  advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed, and  provide contact information.

August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)