Monday, January 26, 2015
Sylvia Bleker (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Christiaan Behrens (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Paul Koster (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and Erik T. Verhoef (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands) analyze Market Structure and the Pricing of New Products: A Nested Logit Approach with Asymmetric Firms.
ABSTRACT: This article investigates competition in a market with an emerging technology using a discrete choice model to analyze demand and welfare. We focus on industry structure and investigate the impact of different market structures on demand for the new technology and on welfare. The car market serves as a prime example of such a market, where electric vehicles (EV’s) represent the new technology competing with standard cars with internal combustion engines (ICV’s). To analyze such a market, we use a nested logit model. In contrast to earlier literature, we allow firms to be asymmetric and active in multiple nests, with different numbers of variants in each nest, which can add ! up to any market share. Additionally, we add to existing literature by considering the case where substitutability between firms is stronger than between technologies, by nesting products by technology instead of by firm. We find implicit analytical solutions for the equilibrium mark-ups which can be used when there are two nests in the market; within that restriction firms can be asymmetric. Numerically, we find that EV sales are higher if offered by a new entrant only selling EV’s as opposed to when it is supplied by a firm selling variants of both types. We present an index based on mark-up differences between variants in the market, which can be used to a priori determine whether a change in market structure would increase or decrease welfare. These results are general to the nested logit model, and the index can thus be used in any market, as long as the market is sufficiently accurately described by the nested logit model.
Christopher T. Conlon (Department of Economics, Columbia University) and Julie Holland Mortimer (Boston College) have a new paper on Demand Estimation Under Incomplete Product Availability.
ABSTRACT: All-Units Discounts are vertical rebates in which a manufacturer pays a retailer a linear wholesale price up to a quantity threshold; beyond the threshold, the retailer receives a discount on all future and previous units. Such contracts, which are common in many industries, potentially have both efficiency and foreclosure effects. Using a new dataset containing detailed information on the sales and rebate payments of a retailer in the confections industry, we estimate structural models of demand and retailer effort to quantify the efficiency gains induced by the contract. We show how the contract allocates the cost of a stock-out between the manufacturer and retailer, and find evidence that the contract increases industry profitability, but fails to implement the product assortment that maximizes social surplus for the industry. Finally, we point out that the impact of many upstream mergers is felt through wholesale prices instead of retail prices. We examine the impact of various upstream mergers on the willingness of the dominant manufacturer to offer rebate contracts, and the impact that the rebate contracts have on social welfare.
Along with professors in Germany, I am undertaking a survey on antitrust/competition law (herein “antitrust”) compliance programs relating to cartel conduct compliance.
I need your help. The survey is for in house counsel and compliance officers who are involved in cartel compliance.
- If you are such a compliance professional, please take the survey here.
- If you are outside counsel, a government enforcer or academic, do not take the survey. However, please forward the survey to as many people in our target audience as possible.
The survey collects information on the measures used by firms to ensure that their employees, officers and directors comply with antitrust laws.
Firms from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland participated in a previous version of the survey. The results of this prior research were returned to the participating companies, which allowed them to further improve their compliance programs by benchmarking them against the efforts of compliance front-runners. The outcomes of our prior study also provide a basis for firms' discussion with competition authorities whether compliance efforts should be recognized as a mitigating factor when setting antitrust fines.
Your participation in the survey will help us to establish these benefits also for your company in the markets and jurisdictions where it operates. Your answers will be held strictly confidential. They will enable us to enhance the scientific groundwork of compliance and generate opportunities to further improve the effectiveness of compliance measures. The results of our survey will be published in mid 2015.
Additional information on the survey can be found on the following pages. In case of questions please do not hesitate to email Dr. Paha.
The antitrust compliance survey project is a research collaboration of academics at the University of Florida and Justus-Liebig-University (Giessen, Germany):
- Georg Götz (full professor, Justus-Liebig-University)
- Daniel Sokol (full professor, University of Florida)
- Johannes Paha (assistant professor, Justus-Liebig-University)
- Daniel Herold (research associate, Justus-Liebig-University)
Martin Obradovits, Goethe University Frankfurt describes Asymmetric Pricing Caused by Collusion.
ABSTRACT: In many markets, empirical evidence suggests that positive production cost shocks are transmitted more quickly and fully to final prices than negative ones. This article explains asymmetric price adjustment caused by firms imperfectly colluding on supra-competitive price levels. While positive cost shocks are transmitted instantaneously, negative price adjustments only occur once aggregate market demand turns out unexpectedly low. In equilibrium, this can be supported whenever demand is sufficiently stable, and negative cost shocks are not too large.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION TO HOLD PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON EXAMINING U.S. HEALTH CARE COMPETITION
From the Press Release:
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a joint public workshop, Examining Health Care Competition, on Feb. 24 and 25, 2015, in the Constitution Center Auditorium located at 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20024.
The workshop will study recent developments related to health care provider organization and payment models, with an emphasis on how they may affect competition in the provision of health care services. Specific discussion topics may include early observations regarding accountable care organizations; alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payment models; trends in provider consolidation; trends in provider network and benefit design strategies, as well as contracting practices and regulatory activity that may enhance or undermine these strategies; and early observations regarding health insurance exchanges.
The workshop will be webcast live on the FTC’s website. Registration information, an agenda, directions to the FTC Conference Center and a list of speakers will be available on the event web page. Advance registration is not required, but is strongly encouraged.
Public comments should be submitted by Feb. 16, 2015, to be considered for the workshop. Interested persons can continue to submit comments through April 30, 2015. Suggested comment topics, and instructions on how to submit comments online and by mail, can be found in the Federal Register notice.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities who wish to attend the workshop in person are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Lara Kittelson at 202-326-3388. Requests should be made in advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and provide contact information.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Attila Ambrus (Duke University), Emilio Calvano (CSEF, Universita di Napoli Federico II), and Markus Reisinger (Otto Beisheim School of Management) Either or Both Competition: A "Two-sided" Theory of Advertising with Overlapping Viewerships.
ABSTRACT: In media markets, consumers spread their attention to several outlets, increasingly so as consumption migrates online. The traditional framework for studying competition among media outlets rules out this behavior by assumption. We propose a new model that allows consumers to choose multiple outlets and use it to study the effect of strategic interaction on advertising levels, and the impact of entry and mergers. We show that novel forces come into play, which reflect the outlets' incentives to control the composition of the customer base in addition to its size. We link consumer preferences and advertising technologies to market outcomes. The model can explain a number of empirical regularities that are difficult to reconcile with existing models.
CPI Antitrust Chronicle: The New EU Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions
The new EU Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions came into force on Christmas Day, with a promise of wide-spread effects. It's designed to increase the ability of victims of competition rule infringements to exercise their right to full compensation, as well as to ensure an optimal balance between the public and private enforcement of EU competition rules. This issue presents a variety of viewpoints as to how effectively the new Directive may accomplish those goals—and points out a number of potential pitfalls. The New Year is off to a fast start.
by Daniele Calisti & Luke Haasbeek (DG Comp)
This Article will briefly discuss the most important provisions of the Directive and their expected impact.
by Hans W. Friederiszick & Michael Rauber (E.CA Economics)
The multi-jurisdiction landscape in Europe, paired with partial but incomplete harmonization across Europe and correct, but complex economic damages concepts, is likely to lead to interlinked multinational damages actions in Europe.
by Laurent Geelhand (Hausfeld)
At this point in time, we can be certain of the boost in European competition litigation claims.
by Stefano Grassani (Pavia e Ansaldo)
It is therefore easy to predict that the Directive will have a dramatic impact on civil proceedings throughout Europe, making discovery a common feature of civil litigation, whether or not related to antitrust litigation.
by Veljko Milutinovic (Belgrade)
The bias of the Damages Directive for just compensation and follow-on claims seems to have resulted in sacrifices for parallel competences, EU exclusive competence, the diversity of national legal orders, and deterrence.
by Sebastian Peyer (University of Leicester)
Overall, the Directive provides few incentives for SMEs and consumers—the two groups that are most likely to go uncompensated.
by Andreas P. Reindl (Leuphana University)
Much will depend on the ability of national courts to handle private damages cases and develop practical, consistent, and predictable approaches to the difficult challenges they face in complex, multi-party litigation.
Paolo Crosetto (Universite de Grenoble) and Alexia Gaudeul (Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena) are Choosing whether to compete: Price and format competition with consumer confusion.
ABSTRACT: We run a market experiment where firms can choose not only their price but also whether to present comparable offers. They are faced with artificial demand from consumers who make mistakes when assessing the net value of products on the market. If some offers are comparable however, some consumers favor the best of the comparable offers vs. non-comparable offers. We vary the number of such consumers as well as the strength of their preferences for the best of the comparable offers. In treatments where firms observe the past decisions of their competitors, firms learn not to present comparable offers especially when many consumers prefer comparable offers. This occ! urs after initial periods with strong competition and leads to lower welfare for all consumers. In treatments where firms cannot monitor the competition, firms end up having to present comparable offers, which leads to an improvement in welfare for all consumers.
Jenny Schuetz, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System asks Why Are Wal-Mart and Target Next-Door Neighbors?
ABSTRACT: One of the most notable changes in the U.S. retail market over the past twenty years has been the rise of Big Box stores, retail chains characterized by physically large stores selling a wide range of consumer goods at discount prices. A growing literature has examined the impacts of Big Box stores on other retailers and consumers, but relatively little is known about how Big Box stores choose locations. Because Big Box stores offer highly standardized products and compete primarily on price, it is likely that they will seek to establish spatial monopolies, far from competitor stores. In this paper, I examine where new Big Box stores locate with respect to three types of existing establishments: own-firm stores, other retailers in the same product space (competitors), and retailers in other product spaces (complements). Results indicate that new Big Box stores tend to avoid existing own-firm stores and locate near complementary Big Box stores. However, there is little evidence that new Big Boxes avoid competitors. Firms in the same product space may not be perfect substitutes, or firms may prefer to share consumers in a desirable location rather than cede the entire market to competitor firms.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
E. Glen Weyl, Microsoft Research New England; University of Chicago and Alexander White, Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management describe Let the Best 'One' Win: Policy Lessons from the New Economics of Platforms.
ABSTRACT: The primary policy problem in platform markets is usually considered to be excessive lock-in to a potentially inefficient dominant platform. We argue that, once one accounts for sophisticated platform pricing strategies, such concerns are overblown. Instead the greater market failure is excessive fragmentation and insufficient participation. These problems, in turn, call for a very different policy response: aiding winners in taking all, ensuring they and not their copycats profit from success, subsidizing adoption and regulating the resulting "One" dominant firm.
Miles Parker (Reserve Bank of New Zealand) analyzes Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand.
ABSTRACT: New evidence from a large survey of over 5300 firms provides insight into price-setting behaviour in New Zealand. There is considerable heterogeneity in behaviour both between and within sectors, and marked asymmetry in the responses to shocks. The median number of prices reviews is twice per year, but the median number of changes is just once. Multi-product firms reset prices more frequently, even accounting for other firm characteristics. Explicit and implicit contracts and strategic complementarity are the most widely recognised causes of price stickness. Menu costs and sticky information are not widely recognised.
Ying Fan (Department of Economics, University of Michigan) and Chenyu Yang (Department of Economics, University of Michigan) study Competition, Product Proliferation and Welfare: A Study of the U.S. Smartphone Market.
ABSTRACT: We consider a structural model of demand and supply where firms endogenously offer vertically differentiated products and exercise second-degree price discrimination. We apply this model to the smartphone industry and quantify the welfare effects of price discrimination and competition. We use counterfactual simulations to assess how the welfare changes when each firm only offers its highest-quality product. We also study the market outcomes such as price, product variety and welfare if later entrants in the market entered earlier.
Filip Switala (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management), Malgorzata Olszak (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management) and Iwona Kowalska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management) discuss Competition in commercial banks in Poland – analysis of Panzar-Rosse H-statistics.
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to find out how intense is the competition in Polish commercial banks loan market. Using Panzar – Rosse H-statistics and applying several estimation techniques (GLS, one-step GMM and two-step GMM) we find that this intensity is sensitive to the estimator applied. Upon analysis of results, one can conclude that competition evolves differently across years in Poland. In some years, competition was relatively high, as the H-statistics reached the level of 0.75, which is relatively close to perfect competition. In other years it gradually decreased reaching its bottom line in 2010, and took upward trend in 2011 and 2012. Generally, the values of our competitive enviro! nment measure indicate at monopolistic competition in Poland.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Doh-Shin Jeon (Toulouse School of Economics and CEPR) and Yassine Lefouili (Toulouse School of Economics) examine Patent Licensing Networks.
ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the patent licensing networks formed by competing firms. Assuming that licensing agreements can involve the payment of fixed fees only and that firms compete à la Cournot, we show that the complete network is always bilaterally efficient and that the monopoly network is bilaterally efficient if the patents are complementary enough. In the case of independent patents, we fully characterize the bilaterally efficient networks and find that when the cost reduction resulting from getting access to a competitor's technology is large enough, the complete network is the only bilaterally efficient one. We also show that the bilaterally efficient networks can be sustained as subgam! e-perfect Nash equilibria with symmetric payoffs. This implies that the Pareto-dominance criterion selects the network that maximizes industry profits when more than one bilaterally efficient network exists.
Weijer VerLoren van Themaat and Berend Reuder, Houthoff Buruma have edited European Competition Law A Case Commentary.
BOOK ABSTRACT: This unique book is designed for everyday use by practitioners and academics who wish to better understand how competition rules are interpreted in practice, and as a starting point for legal analysis. The book also serves as a handy resource on the exact wording of the essential elements of the most important cases. It will appeal not only to practitioners and academics, but also to all competition authorities in Europe.
PART I TREATY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (TEU), TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE REGULATIONS Section 1 Treaty on European Union (TEU) 1. Article 3 TEU – Objectives of the Union 2. Article 4 TEU – Relations between the Union and the Member States; Principles of Subsidiarity, Equality and Sincere Co-operation 3. Article 6 TEU – The Charter and the ECHR
Section 2 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) 4. Article 101 TFEU – Cartel Prohibition 5. Article 102 TFEU – Abuse of Dominance 6. Article 103 TFEU – Regulation Regarding the Application of Arts 101 and 102 7. Article 104 TFEU – Competence of Authorities in Member States 8. Article 105 TFEU – Application of Arts 101 and 102 by the Commission 9. Article 106 TFEU – Public Undertakings 10. Article 107 TFEU – General Rule: Prohibition of Aid 11. Article 108 TFEU – Procedure before the Commission: Notification of Aid 12. Article 109 TFEU – Determination of Regulations Regarding the Application of Arts 107 and 108
Section 3 The Regulations 13. Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 on the Implementation of the Rules on Competition 14. Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the Control of Concentrations Between Undertakings 15. Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 on Vertical Agreements 16. Regulation (EU) No 461/2010 on Vertical Agreements in the Motor Vehicles Sector 17. Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006 Applying Certain Rules of Competition to the Production of and Trade in Certain Agricultural Products
PART II EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR) AND CHARTER OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (CHARTER) Section 1 European Convention on Human Rights 18. Article 1 ECHR – Obligation to Respect Human Rights
Section 2 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 19. Article 7 Charter – Respect for Private and Family Life 20. Article 16 Charter – Freedom to Conduct a Business 21. Article 17(1) Charter – Right to Property 22. Article 20 Charter – Equality before the Law 23. Article 41 Charter – Right to Good Administration 24. Article 47 Charter – Right to an Effective Remedy and to an Impartial Tribunal 25. Article 48 Charter – Presumption of Innocence and Rights of the Defence 26. Article 49 Charter – Principles of Legality and Proportionality of Criminal Offences and Penalties 27. Article 50 Charter – Right not to be Tried or Punished Twice in Criminal Proceedings for the Same Criminal Offence 28. Article 51 Charter – Field of Application 29. Article 52 Charter – Scope and Interpretation of Rights and Principles 30. Article 53 Charter – Level of Protection
Oles Andriychuk, University of Stirling, School of Law offers The Dialectics of Competition Law: Sketching the Ordo-Austrian Approach to Antitrust.
ABSTRACT: This paper explores the qualitative (deontological) approaches to the phenomenon of economic competition, synthesizing the Ordoliberal and the Austrian perceptions of antitrust economics, policy and law. It critically addresses the main normative motto of the contemporary antitrust, embedded in the ethos of consumer/total welfare, as well as the methodological reduction of competition policy to the empirical analysis. Not contesting the paramount role of economics in the realm of antitrust, it demonstrates why the phenomenon of competition cannot be narrowed down to its welfare-generating function. By comparing the regulatory mechanisms of the competitive process in the real economy and sports it depicts some potential methodological analogies, between the two realms.
Joseph E. Harrington Jr, University of Pennsylvania, Kai Huschelrath, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Ulrich Laitenberger, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) - Competition and Regulation Research Group; KU Leuven - Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy, and Innovation, and Florian Smuda Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) have a fascinating new paper on The Discontent Cartel Member and Cartel Collapse: The Case of the German Cement Cartel. Highly recommended!
ABSTRACT: We hypothesize a particular source of cartel instability and explore its relevance to understanding cartel dynamics. The cartel instability is rooted in the observation that, upon cartel formation, the relative positions of firms are often fixed which may lead some growth-conscious members to be discontent. This incongruity between a cartel member’s allocated market share and its desired market share may result in systematic deviations and the eventual collapse of the cartel. This hypothesis is then taken to the German cement cartel of 1991-2002. We argue that Readymix was such a discontent cartel member and, using a rich pricing data set, are able to characterize how Readymix deviated, how other firms responded, and how it led to the collapse of the cartel.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Extending The Scope Of Antitrust Legislation Over The Area Of Exclusive Ip-Rights Exercise: Evidence From Russia
Mikhail S. Zhuravlev (National Research University Higher School of Economics) is Extending The Scope Of Antitrust Legislation Over The Area Of Exclusive Ip-Rights Exercise: Evidence From Russia.
ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the issues of competition law and IP law interaction. Current Russian legislation provides absolute immunity from extending the antitrust prohibitions over the exercise of exclusive IP-rights. The idea of the article is that this approach needs to be revised. Russian court practice, legal doctrine and economic theory necessitate more flexible antitrust regulation in the area of IP. The analysis of US, EU, and Japanese models of legal regulation has revealed different approaches to the issues of antitrust policy in this field of social relations. Therefore, this paper suggests a different concept of regulation¬ – keep the general immunity from the application of antitrust prohibitions to rightholders, but make it conditional. At the same time, in order to ensure the optimal balance between private and public interests and to maintain the incentives for innovative activity, antitrust legislation should provide a system of guarantees for rightholders
Yun Jeong Choi (Yonsei University) and Kyoung Soo Hahn (Yonsei University) offer much needed empirical woprk on cartels in Korea in their article HOW DOES A CORPORATE LENIENCY PROGRAM AFFECT CARTEL STABILITY? EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM KOREA.
ABSTRACT: This article examines the impact of Korea's corporate leniency program on cartel stability by applying a semi-parametric hazard model to a unique data set of 619 discovered cartels. We find that, in the short run, the introduction and revision of leniency reduced a cartel dissolution rate and resulted in longer cartel duration. However, in the long run, the introduction of leniency increases the cartel dissolution rate and decreases cartel duration. As a consequence of the leniency program, the Korea Fair Trade Commission's enforcement on cartels has become more effective. These results provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of full leniency with respect to the first applicant and also have some policy implications for the revision of the leniency program.
GW Event - The Microsoft Antitrust Cases – Competition Policy for the Twenty-First Century (MIT Press 2014): A Conversation with the Authors, Wednesday January 28, 2015 (Postponed)
January 26, 2015 update: This event has been postponed due to poor weather.
The George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center Presents
The Microsoft Antitrust Cases – Competition Policy for the Twenty-First Century (MIT Press 2014): A Conversation with the Authors
The Microsoft monopolization litigation focused attention on antitrust like no case since Standard Oil in the early 1900s. Andrew Gavil and Harry First have published the definitive study of the two-decade long campaign that engaged prosecutors on several continents and many private claimants in the United States. Please join us to discuss this formative book.
Andrew I. Gavil
Howard University Law School
Charles L. Denison Professor of Law
Director, Competition, Innovation, and Innovation Law Program
New York University School of Law
William E. Kovacic
Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy
Director, Competition Law Center
George Washington University Law School
Wednesday January 28, 2015: Discussion 4 PM to 6 PM, Reception 6 PM to 7 PM
Faculty Conference Center, 5th Floor, Burns Hall, George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20052
Please contact Kierre Hannon, Faculty Secretary, George Washington University Law School: email@example.com
There is no fee for this event.