Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Innovation Economics for Antitrust Lawyers - Concurrences + King's College London Friday, 23 February 2018 from 08:30 to 18:00 London ,

Innovation Economics for Antitrust Lawyers

Concurrences + King's College London

Friday, 23 February 2018 from 08:30 to 18:00 (GMT)

Event Details

 

08.30

Coffee & Registration


09.05

Welcome

Gillian DOUGLAS | Acting Dean, King’s College London

 


09.15

Opening Keynote Speech

Andrea COSCELLI | Chief Executive Officer, Competition and Markets Authority, London

 


09.45

Mergers & Innovation: Can Merger Policy Protect Innovation?

Carles ESTEVA MOSSO | Deputy Director-General Mergers, DG COMP, Brussels

Andreas MUNDT | President, Bundeskartellamt, Bonn

Colin RAFTERY | Director of Mergers, Competition and Markets Authority, London

Richard WHISH QC | Professor, King’s College London

Nicholas LEVY | Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels/London

Nadine WATSON | Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon, Madrid/Brussels

Moderator: William E. KOVACIC | Professor, King’s College London | Non-Executive Director, Competition and Markets Authority, London


11.15

Coffee break


11.30

Bitcoin, Blockchain…: Which Antitrust Policy for the Fintechs?

Amelia FLETCHER | Professor, Norwich Business School and Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia  

Kier LIDDELL | Vice President - Global Competition team, Barclays Bank, London

Michele DAVIS | Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London 

Miguel DE LA MANO | Executive Vice President, Compass Lexecon, Brussels

Moderator: Renato NAZZINI | Professor, King’s College London 

 


13.00

Lunch Keynote

Roger ALFORD | Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice, Washington DC

 


13.30

Lunch


14.30

Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare: Is Excessive Pricing an Antitrust Issue?

Paul CSISZAR | Director "Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture", DG COMP, Brussels

Margaret KYLE | Professor of Economics, MINES ParisTech

John DAVIES | Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon, Paris

Ingrid VANDENBORRE | Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels

Moderator: Alison JONES | Professor, King’s College London

 


16.00

Coffee break


16.30

Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence: Beyond Facilitating Concerted Practices, Can they Help Cartels Busters?

Ariel EZRACHI | Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law, University of Oxford, Centre for Competition Law and Policy

Arno RASEK | Chief Economist, Bundeskartellamt, Bonn

Kirsten EDWARDS-WARREN | Executive Vice President, Compass Lexecon, London

Jacquelyn MACLENNAN | Partner, White & Case, Brussels/London

Moderator: Frédéric JENNY | Chairman, OECD Competition Committee | Professor, ESSEC, Paris

 


18.00

Reception

Do you have questions about Innovation Economics for Antitrust Lawyers? Contact Concurrences + King's College London

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

China SEP litigation

Date:
February 9, 2018
Time:
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET
 
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China has become a hot litigation battlefield for SEP owners and prospective licensees.  The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court issued an injunction decision in Huawei v. Samsung earlier in January, while a number of cases such as Apple v. Qualcomm, Iwncomm v. Sony, and Iwncomm v. Apple, are just heating up.  Lawyers and economists will discuss their first-hand experiences litigating SEP cases in China.

FREE:  Antitrust Section Members, Government, Non-profit Employees, Students
$25 Other Non-Members

Explore Section benefits or call 1-800-285-2221 to join. Code RAT14IP25.   For this and all upcoming events visit http://ambar.org/atevents.
 
CLE
The ABA is not seeking CLE credit for this program.

Audio Archive: Provided all releases are obtained, MP3 recordings of this program will be available to Section members on the Committee Program Audio page.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monopoly Power in the Oil Market and the Macroeconomy

Nicole Branger, University of Muenster - Finance Center Muenster, René Marian Flacke, University of Muenster - Finance Center Muenster, and Nikolai Gräber, University of Muenster - Finance Center Muenster identify Monopoly Power in the Oil Market and the Macroeconomy.

ABSTRACT: This paper studies macroeconomic consequences of oil price fluctuations caused by innovations in the monopoly power in the oil market. Monopoly power is interpreted as oil producers' ability to charge markups over marginal costs. We conduct an event study to identify markup shocks based on meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). A structural vector autoregression shows that markup shocks have unique macroeconomic consequences compared to supply and demand shocks. In particular, real economic activity persistently expands when oil producers' monopoly power rises. We propose a state-of-the-art general equilibrium model that rationalizes these findings.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Keep Calm and Carry on Applying the Existing Rules – EU Competition Law and the Digital Economy

Marios C. Iacovides, Swedish Competition Authority; Uppsala University - Faculty of Law; Bocconi University - Department of Law and Jakob Jeanrond, Stockholm University suggest Keep Calm and Carry on Applying the Existing Rules – EU Competition Law and the Digital Economy.

ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to argue that, based on the authors' current experience, the existing rules of EU competition law are mostly adequate to deal with the particular competition problems that may be posed by the digital economy. This has two implications. First, it means that focus does not need to shift from application of the existing rules to figuring out what amendments or additions have to be made to the existing rules. Secondly, legal certainty is enhanced, since it becomes clearer that the rules will apply in their existing form even in the digital environment.

The authors exemplify how the understanding of multisided markets gained at the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) in several digital platform markets, including the market for online booking of hotel rooms, the market for online listings of properties, and the market for online orders of take away food, can provide valuable insights on how to tackle issues arising from the digital economy. The case studies show how applying the more recently developed economic theory on platform markets allows for a successful application of existing competition law. Moreover, common predictions on the economic behaviour of platform markets, as can be found in the academic literature, are tested against the experiences drawn from the aforementioned investigations. In addition to providing a robustness check on common assertions made on the functioning of platform markets the paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of such markets by adding to the debate on when these common assertions are more or less likely to hold.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

13th International Conference on Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation (CRESSE) June 29th to July 1st 2018

We invite submissions of papers to the 13th International Conference on Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation (CRESSE – www.cresse.info) that will take place in the island of Crete, near Heraklion city (GREECE), from June 29th to July 1st 2018, at the Venue Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort.

The CRESSE Scientific Committee consists of: Prof. Joseph Harrington (Business Economics and Public Policy Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Prof. Yannis Katsoulacos (Athens University of Economics and Business), Dr. Pierre Régibeau (Charles River Associates), Prof. Patrick Rey (Toulouse School of Economics), Prof. Thomas Ross (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia) and Prof. David Ulph (University of St Andrews).

CRESSE 2018 Keynote Speakers:

        Prof. Dennis Carlton (The University of Chicago Booth School of Business). Title of presentation: “How Transaction Costs Should Influence Competition Policy and Our Economic Models”

        Prof. John Vickers (University of Oxford). Title of presentation: " Competition with Captive Customers"

Special Keynote Lecturer:

        Dr. David Evans (Chairman of Global Economics Inc.). Title of presentation: “The Antitrust Economics of Multisided Platforms: A Progress Report on the Economic Literature and Its Application to Cases”

Keynote Lawyers’ Lecturer:

        Prof. Herbert Hovenkamp (University of Pennsylvania Law School). Title of presentation “Is the Consumer Welfare Principle Imperiled?”

Special Keynote Lawyers’ Lecturer:

    Prof. Eleanor Fox (New York University School of Law). Title of presentation: "Antitrust and Sovereignty: Dealing with Clash and Forging Community in the Absence of Global Law""

 

Topics: 

We welcome submissions of theoretical, policy oriented or empirical papers related to any one of the main aspects of Competition Policy (dominance, collusion or mergers) or Sectoral Regulation or to issues of policy implementation, enforcement and Stade-Aid.
Submissions by legal experts are also encouraged.

Deadline for paper submission: 2nd April, 2018
Acceptance of papers by 7th May, 2018. 

Those who wish to present should send their papers electronically to katsoul@aueb.gr.

Registration:

The Conference registration fee is 400.00 euros. Conference Speakers, Discussants and PhD Students get a 50% discount. CRESSE Summer School Students may participate in the Conference free of charge.

Registration fees cover participation in the Conference, the Conference bags with the articles that will be presented, participation to the coffee breaks, the (three) Conference lunches as well as participation to the Conference dinner.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Towards an International Legal Framework for Competition Law: An EU Perspective

Fabrizio Di Benedetto, University of Milan, DILHPS - Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies brings us Towards an International Legal Framework for Competition Law: An EU Perspective.

ABSTRACT: During its history, the European Union, and the European Community, have made several attempts to favor the establishment of an international antitrust legal standard, using both the multilateral and the bilateral instruments that international law provides. However, so far none of these attempts has led to the creation of a binding international code on competition issues. Indeed, it should be considered that there are big differences among national competition laws at a global level, which makes it difficult to reach a conclusion of substantive and binding international agreements. Nevertheless, this does not mean that an international legal framework on competition is impossible to reach. In this regard, the EU could play an essential role in the creation of such a legal framework through the negotiations of Free Trade Agreements with third countries, and especially with the United States of America and Canada.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

GCR Live 3rd Annual Cartels conference, 10 April 2018

The GCR Live 3rd Annual Cartels conference, taking place on 10 April 2018 at 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006.

The one day event, co-chaired by Thomas Mueller, WilmerHale and Samuel Weglein, Analysis Group, will bring together leading governmental representatives, private practitioners, academics and corporate counsel to discuss topics at the forefront of cartel and antitrust law.

Tickets are currently available at the super early booking rate of $800; to register, please click here. Complimentary registration is also available here for in-house counsel and government representatives.

Separated by numerous networking and refreshment breaks, conference topics will include:

  • Morning keynote – Speaker to be announced
  • The role of smaller agencies in cartel enforcement 

As cartel enforcement slows, perhaps temporarily, in many major antitrust jurisdictions, we examine the role of agencies in smaller or less-established jurisdictions in shaping global cartel enforcement policy. What role should smaller agencies play in shaping global cartel enforcement? How are investigations focused in jurisdictions such as Mexico, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel? How are those investigations carried out, and what punishments have companies and executives accused of cartel behaviour faced?

  • Square peg in a round hole:The pursuit of unconventional cartels matters

In a world where there are fewer classic price-fixing cases to bring and in which agencies have incentives to find behaviour that could be deemed cartel activity, what’s the proper role of criminal antitrust in an enforcement portfolio? What is the global effect of the increasingly aggressive treatment of information exchange and other similarly grey areas of competition enforcement, as cases are picked up multilaterally? And with different global approaches to explicit and tacit collusion, should observers expect enforcers to agree on the legality of algorithmic pricing?

  • Afternoon keynote – Speaker to be announced
  • Decrypting public and private enforcement in Asia’s biggest jurisdictions

Asia is now firmly established as a hotbed for antitrust enforcement, from both government agencies and private plaintiffs; Korea, China and elsewhere boast active plaintiff lawyers and a court system teeming with antitrust matters. This panel will examine the traits, structure and record of private and public enforcement in Asia's most significant antitrust jurisdictions and discuss what foreign companies can expect when doing business in each country.

  • The interplay between public and private cartel enforcement

It used to be that a government investigation would lead, and private litigation would follow, but increasingly private plaintiffs are using their own statistical analysis found in academic papers as data evidence when bringing stand-alone cases. To what extent has over-burdened leniency made way for this approach? What weight should statistical data and analysis provide in terms of evidence of coordination? What role should statistical analyses play in investigations? Is data where cartel enforcers, including the US Department of Justice, ought to be putting its money? We examine the role data and its analysis should play in cartel matters and ask whether the system has led to evidentiary strengths or weaknesses.

Upon the close of conference, all delegates will be invited to attend a drinks reception kindly hosted by McMillan.

Further programme details can be found on the event webpage here; speakers for the day will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Debunking the NCAA's Myth that Amateurism Conforms with Antitrust Law: A Legal and Statistical Analysis

Thomas A. Baker III, University of Georgia, Marc Edelman, City University of New York - Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business; Fordham University School of Law, and Nicholas Watanabe, University of South Carolina are Debunking the NCAA's Myth that Amateurism Conforms with Antitrust Law: A Legal and Statistical Analysis.

ABSTRACT: This article provides the first detailed study to show that paying college football players does not decrease fan interest in watching college football – thus, substantially debunking the NCAA’s myth that amateurism conforms to the requirements of antitrust law. Part I of this article details the history of collegiate sports in the United States and the NCAA’s amateurism rules. Part II examines the origins and evolution of the NCAA’s procompetitive presumption defense of amateurism; a legal fiction that presumes consumer interest in amateurism justifies a quasi-antitrust exemption for the NCAA’s “no pay” rules. Part III sets the framework for our empirical study by describing how the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association established the need for an economic investigation into the influence of amateurism on consumer demand for the NCAA’s most popular product, college football. Part IV describes the methods used for the empirical examination in this study and analyzes the results. Finally, Part V concludes with a discussion of the implications drawn from the results of our investigation and explains why the findings in our study disprove the presumption that the consumer demand for college football depends on preservation of regulations that limit athlete compensation.

January 31, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Under Competition: Breaking the Bertrand Trap

Yong Chao, University of Louisville - College of Business - Department of Economics, Jose M. Fernandez, University of Louisville - Department of Economics; University of Louisville - College of Business and Public Administration, and Babu Nahata, University of Louisville - College of Business - Department of Economics analyze Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Under Competition: Breaking the Bertrand Trap.

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the viability of Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) pricing when firms compete without restrictions of a minimum payment requirement. We show that the equilibrium outcomes are different when underpayers, consumers paying less than marginal cost, are present as opposed to when they are absent. In particular, when PWYW pricing is practiced without restricting the presence of underpayers or any minimum payment requirement, then the only two equilibrium structures are: either both firms use the posted price and earn zero profits, or one firm adopts PWYW pricing and the other uses the posted price. The asymmetric pricing equilibrium leads to a softening of price competition where both firms earn positive profits and the Bertrand Trap is broken.

January 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Blessing in Disguise? Market Power and Growth with Financial Frictions

Joachim Jungherr and David Strauss ask A Blessing in Disguise? Market Power and Growth with Financial Frictions.

ABSTRACT: Firm market power raises growth in the presence of financial frictions. The reason is that self financing becomes more effective if firm earnings are higher. We test this mechanism using Korean manufacturing data 1963-2003. We find that more concentrated sectors grow faster. This positive empirical relationship between concentration and growth gets weaker as credit becomes more abundant. Using a simple growth model, we study counterfactuals. The observed rise of concentration in Korea until the mid-1970s has increased manufacturing value added 1963-2003 on average by at least 0:6% per year. The effect of firm market power on worker welfare is ambiguous.

January 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Selling Gasoline as a By-Product: The Impact of Market Structure on Local Prices

Haucap, Justus ; Heimeshoff, Ulrich ; Siekmann, Manuel are measuring Selling Gasoline as a By-Product: The Impact of Market Structure on Local Prices.

ABSTRACT: We use a novel data set with exact price quotes from virtually all German gasoline stations to empirically investigate how a temporary variance in local market structure induced by restricted opening hours of specific players affects price competition. We find that, during their hours of opening, they have a significant negative price effect on nearby competitors.

January 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Price controls versus compulsory licensing: effects on patent-holders and consumers

Eric W Bond (Vanderbilt University) and Kamal Saggi (Vanderbilt University) explore Price controls versus compulsory licensing: effects on patent-holders and consumers.

ABSTRACT: We extend the model of Bond and Saggi (2014) in which a patent-holder chooses between direct entry and the voluntary licensing of its technology to a local firm in a developing country. We compare two scenarios: one where the country imposes a price control on the patent-holder and another where it issues a compulsory license to the local firm if the patent-holder decides to neither enter nor license its technology voluntarily. A price control makes entry less attractive to the patent-holder relative to voluntary licensing whereas the threat of compulsory licensing has the opposite effect. While a price control always makes the patent-holder worse off, the option of compulsory licensing can sometimes be to its advantage.

January 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roger P. Alford Delivers Remarks at the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roger P. Alford Delivers Remarks at the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea.  See here.

January 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mathematical Modelling for Time-of-Use Pricing of Electricity in Monopoly and Oligopoly

Kaicker, Nidhi ; Dutta, Goutam ; Das, Debamanyu ; Banerjee, Subhashree investigate Mathematical Modelling for Time-of-Use Pricing of Electricity in Monopoly and Oligopoly.

ABSTRACT: This study establishes the feasibility condition for efficiency gains to arise from time-of-use pricing in the electricity market in a monopolistic and oligopolistic set up using constrained optimization. In an oligopolistic set-up, the strategic interaction between producers depends on the level of demand. In case of high demand, the producers compete on the basis of output they will produce, resulting in a Cournot-type competition. On the other hand, in case of low demand, an oligopolistic structure may break with only the most efficient firm operating, or results in the emergence of leader firms and follower firms, i.e. the Stackleberg model.

January 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tariff Diversity and Competition Policy: Drivers for Broadband Adoption in the European Union

Mirjam R.J. Lange studies Tariff Diversity and Competition Policy: Drivers for Broadband Adoption in the European Union.

ABSTRACT: While second-degree price discrimination is standard in commercial practice in many industries, consumer advocates and public interest groups have reacted with skepticism against tendencies to move away from flat rates and introduce greater tariff diversity. This paper provides an empirical analysis how the differentiation of broadband tariffs with respect to retail prices affects fixed broadband subscription using time-series data. The empirical analysis is based on a unique dataset of 10,200 retail broadband offers spanning the 2003–2011 period and including 23 EU member states. Results show that an increase in tariff diversity provides a significant impetus to broadband adoption, wherefore demands by some public interest groups to limit price discrimination in broadband markets should be viewed with some caution as reduced price discrimination may come at the cost of lower penetration rates.

January 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Competition and physician behaviour: Does the competitive environment affect the propensity to issue sickness certificates?

Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics) ; Tor Helge Holmäs (Uni Research Rokkan Centre) ; Karin Monstad (Uni Rokkan Centre) and Odd Rune Straume (NIPE/University of Minho) inquire Competition and physician behaviour: Does the competitive environment affect the propensity to issue sickness certificates?

ABSTRACT: Competition among physicians is widespread, but compelling empirical evidence on the impact on service provision is limited, mainly due to lack of exogenous variation in the degree of competition. In this paper we exploit that many GPs, in addition to own practice, work in local emergency centres, where the matching of patients to GPs is random. This allows us to observe the same GP in two dfferent competitive environments; with competition (own practice) and without competition (emergency centre). Using rich administrative patientlevel data from Norway for 2006-14, which allow us to estimate high-dimensional fixed-effect models to control for time-invariant patient and GP heterogeneity, we and that GPs with a fee-for-service (fixed salary) contract are 11 (8) percentage points more likely to certify sick leave at own practice than at the emergency centre. Thus, competition has a positive impact on GP´s sick listing that is reinforced by financial incentives.

January 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Did UberX Reduce Ambulance Volume?

Leon S. Moskatel (Scripps Mercy) and David J.G. Slusky (University of Kansas) have an interesting paper that asks Did UberX Reduce Ambulance Volume? Worth downloading!

ABSTRACT: Ambulances are a vital part of emergency medical services. However, they come in single, homogeneous, high intervention form, which is at times unnecessary, resulting in excessive costs for patients and insurers. In this paper, we ask whether UberX’s entry into a city caused substitution away from traditional ambulances for low risk patients, reducing overall volume. Using a city-panel over-time and leveraging that UberX enter markets sporadically over multiple years, we find that UberX entry reduced the per capital ambulance volume by at least 7%. Our result is robust to numerous specifications.

January 28, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A larger role for the hearing officer: a modest proposal

Terry Calvani (Freshfields) and Jenny Leahy offer A larger role for the hearing officer: a modest proposal.

ABSTRACT: This article proposes changes to the role of the EU hearing officer and looks, as a starting point, to the US administrative model, in particular the role of the Administrative Law Judge. It is argued that the US model makes better use of its hearing examiners to understand and probe contested points of fact or law. The article sets out a proposal for strengthening the function and responsibilities of the EU hearing officer to also include a review of substantive points of the case. The hearing officer’s substantive findings, in addition to reporting on procedure, would be included in a final public report. These relatively modest changes would provide comfort to the parties that some independent scrutiny of disputed facts had taken place whilst the Commission would retain full discretion as to the ultimate decision. However, importantly, the Commission’s decision-making would be aided by a more robust oral hearing. No fundamental changes to the EU’s administrative model would be required for the implementation of this proposal. For practical reasons it is suggested to trial this proposal first in the Commission’s Article 101 and 102 TFEU investigations.

January 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Remarks of Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivered at the New York State Bar Association, January 25, 2018

Remarks of Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivered at the New York State Bar Association are available here.

January 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can Competition Extend the Golden Age of Antibiotics?

Eswaran, Mukesh and Gallini, Nancy ask Can Competition Extend the Golden Age of Antibiotics?

ABSTRACT: Countries world wide face an imminent global health crisis. As resistant bacteria render the current stock of antibiotics ineffective and the pipeline of back-up drugs runs dry, pharmaceutical companies are abandoning their research in antibiotics. In this paper we ask: Why are pharmaceutical companies closing antibiotic research labs when the stakes are so high? Implementing a simple dynamic framework, we show that the environment for new antibiotics is relatively hostile, compared to other medicines, due to market failures that result in excessive use and acceleration of natural selection. The analysis reveals, however, that increased competition between drugs can actually slow down the rate of resistance without, in some cases, diluting research incentives. This result, which is bolstered by scientific evidence, arises from a fundamental interplay between economic and biological externalities. We propose a patent-antitrust regime for aligning drug research and usage with those of the social planner, which implies an alternative justification of the patent system.

January 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)