Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Competition Effects of Supermarket Services

Alessandro Bonanno, Pennsylvania State University and Rigoberto A. Lopez, University of Connecticut address Competition Effects of Supermarket Services.

ABSTRACT: This article investigates the competition effects of supermarket services using fluid milk as a case study. A simultaneous equation model for services and price competition is estimated with scanner data from fifteen supermarket chains using two alternative measures of services, namely store size and principal components of in‐store services. Empirical results show that increasing services results in economies of scope, greater supermarket chain‐level demand, lower price elasticity of demand, and enhanced market power, leading to higher milk prices and quantity sold. We conclude that, as result of service competition, supermarkets differentiate themselves from competitors and successfully attract less price‐sensitive consumers.

June 17, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Priority-Setting as a Double-Edged Sword: How Modernisation Strengthened the Role of Public Policy

Or Brooks, Leeds identifies Priority-Setting as a Double-Edged Sword: How Modernisation Strengthened the Role of Public Policy.

ABSTRACT: This article questions the common view that the modernisation of EU competition law has removed public policy considerations from the public enforcement of Article 101 TFEU. Based on a large quantitative and qualitative database including all of the Commission’s and five national competition authorities’ enforcement actions (N≈1700), it maintains that modernisation has merely shifted the consideration of public policy from the substantive scope of Article 101(3) TFEU to procedural priority setting decisions. Instead of engaging in a complex balancing of competition and public policy considerations, the competition authorities have simply refrained from pursuing cases against anti-competitive agreements that raise public policy questions or settled those cases by accepting negotiated remedies.

This outcome, the article claims, is a double-edged sword. The Commission’s attempt to narrow down the scope of Article 101(3) as part of modernisation has not eliminated the role of public policy in the enforcement. Rather, undertakings can reasonably assume that restrictions of competition that produce some public policy objectives will not be enforced, even if they do not meet the conditions for an exception. These discretionary non-enforcement decisions have a detrimental impact on the effectiveness, uniformity, and legal certainty of EU competition law enforcement.

June 17, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Competition Law Objectives in Kazakhstan

Claudio Lombardi, KIMEP, School of Law address Competition Law Objectives in Kazakhstan.

ABSTRACT: This article analyses the current competition law objectives of Kazakhstan and compares them to those of other jurisdictions, including the EU and the EAEU. It then explains the importance of setting clear goals for competition law enforcement and policy. Finally, this paper argues that the antitrust law objectives of Kazakhstan should differ from those established in the EU and the US, in particular aiming at sustainable development, growth, innovation, and redistribution.

June 17, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

15th ASCOLA (Virtual) Conference

See here.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brugg Kabel V Commission: Procedural Rights in the Power Cable Cartel Saga Before the Court of Justice of the EU

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Presents Procurement Collusion Strike Force to the International Competition Community

See here.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Part-time Departmental Lecturer in Competition Law - The University of Oxford

The Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford seeks to appoint a part-time Departmental Lecturer in Competition Law for the next academic year.

For further details, see: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/content/part-time-departmental-lecturer-competition-law

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vertical Restraints, the Single Market Imperative and UK Competition Policy after Brexit

Patrick Todd, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton identifies Vertical Restraints, the Single Market Imperative and UK Competition Policy after Brexit.

ABSTRACT: After Brexit, the United Kingdom is unlikely to continue pursuing integration with other member states of the European Union, including through competition policy. As a result, the time is ripe to reconsider the role of the single market imperative in competition law, in particular in relation to vertical restraints where the goal of market integration plays a pivotal role. This article shows that recent European vertical restraints decisions and case law, in particular concerning territorial and online restraints, have been motivated in whole or in part by the single market imperative (SMI). It then examines how the law in the UK might follow a different path post-Brexit, taking the recent Ping case as an example. However, a similar change is not likely to be forthcoming in relation to the law governing pricing restraints, which are not obviously linked to the SMI and which have been the subject of much enforcement in the UK both before and during the UK's membership of the EU.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Competition Law As Common Law: American Express and the Evolution of Antitrust

Doug Melamed, Stanford and Mike Katz, Berkeley address Competition Law As Common Law: American Express and the Evolution of Antitrust.

ABSTRACT: We explore the implications of the widely accepted understanding that competition law is common — or “judge-made” — law. Specifically, we ask how the rule of reason in antitrust law should be shaped and implemented, not just to guide correct application of existing law to the facts of a case, but also to enable courts to participate constructively in the common law-like evolution of antitrust law in the light of changes in economic learning and business and judicial experience. We explore these issues in the context of a recently decided case, Ohio v. American Express, and conclude that the Supreme Court did not apply the rule of reason in a way that enabled an effective common law-like evolution of antitrust law.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Competition law in times of crisis—tackling the COVID-19 challenge Journal of Antitrust Enforcement special issue

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken societies and economies across the globe. We are challenged at multiple levels with disruptions to the way we live, interact, and engage in trade and commerce. The pandemic exposed the fragility of our markets and supply chains, raised questions as to our views of competition and globalization and the enforcement of competition law in times of crisis.

The Journal of Antitrust Enforcement is pleased to present a collection of short essays by a select number of competition enforcers, academics, and practitioners. Contributions explore the changes to enforcement priorities and strategies, the relationship between state and free market, the disruption of supply chains, and broader economic, legal and political implications.

Essays are grouped under two sections. The first includes contributions from competition enforcement agencies, and the second presents contributions from academics and practitioners (organized in alphabetical order).

I. COMPETITION ENFORCERS

  1. Igor Artemiev ‘Statement of Igor Artemiev, Head of the FAS Russia’.

  2. Makan Delrahim ‘Tackling the COVID-19 challenge—a view from the DOJ’.

  3. Isolde Goggin ‘How the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is responding to the COVID-19 challenge’.

  4. Will Hayter ‘Tackling the COVID-19 challenge—a perspective from the CMA’.

  5. Andreas Mundt ‘The Bundeskartellamt in times of COVID-19: adaption of workflows and implications for our enforcement practice’.

  6. Hardin Ratshisusu and Liberty Mncube ‘Addressing excessive pricing concerns in time of the COVID-19 pandemic—a view from South Africa’.

  7. Joseph J. Simons ‘The Federal Trade Commission’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic’.

  8. Rod Sims ‘Competition law in times of crisis—tackling the COVID-19 challenge: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’.

  9. Martijn Snoep ‘Competition enforcement in times of crisis—a perspective from the ACM’.

  10. Brent Snyder ‘Striking a balance between principle and pragmatism in COVID-19-related enforcement in Hong Kong’.

II. ACADEMICS AND PRACTITIONERS

  1. David S. Evans ‘Planning for catastrophes’.

  2. Eleanor M. Fox ‘Developing countries, markets, and the coronavirus: two challenges’.

  3. Monique Goyens and Agustin Reyna ‘Public interest in EU policymaking after COVID-19: five short-term lessons from a consumer perspective’.

  4. Alberto Heimler ‘System wide health care shocks and regulatory interventions in the face of the emergency: are there some lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 crisis?’.

  5. Alison Jones ‘Cartels in the time of COVID-19’.

  6. Damien J. Neven ‘The EU rescue and restructuring guidelines. Fit for purpose?’.

  7. John Noble ‘Tackling the Covid-19 challenge—a producer perspective’.

  8. Julian Nowag ‘Resilience and competition law, in times of emergencies and crises: two research agendas’.

  9. Peter Ormosi and Andreas Stephan ‘The dangers of allowing greater coordination between competitors during the COVID-19 crisis’.

  10. Jorge Padilla ‘A Keynesian antitrust response to the COVID-19 crisis’.

  11. Hassan Qaqaya ‘Sustainability of ASEAN integration, competition policy, and the challenges of COVID-19’.

  12. Fiona M. Scott Morton ‘Innovation incentives in a pandemic’.

  13. Maurice E. Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi ‘COVID-19 and competition—aspiring for more than our old normality?’.

  14. Masako Wakui ‘Free market versus state or something else?: civic sector and competition law’s roles during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan’.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cartel Stability under Product Differentiation

Marco A. Marini, University of Rome La Sapienza; CREI, University Rome III identifies Cartel Stability under Product Differentiation.

ABSTRACT: This note considers cartel stability when the cartelized products are vertically differentiated. If market shares are maintained at pre-collusive levels, then the firm with the lowest competitive price-cost margin has the strongest incentive to deviate from the collusive agreement. The lowest-quality supplier has the tightest incentive constraint when the difference in unit production costs is sufficiently small.

June 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 15, 2020

Product Quality and Consumer Search

José L. Moraga-González, VU University Amsterdam; University of Groningen and Yajie Sun, VU University Amsterdam identify Product Quality and Consumer Search.

ABSTRACT: This paper carries out a positive and normative analysis of the provision of quality in a consumer search market for differentiated products. An increase in quality shifts up the distribution of match utilities offered by firms and makes consumers pickier. The typical number of products consumers inspect before settling, however, does not necessarily increase in quality. Higher search costs may lead to less investment in quality and, correspondingly, the equilibrium price may decrease in search costs. If the equilibrium is socially inefficient, it is only because of the inadequacy of quality investment. There is a one-to-one relationship between the intensity of search and the inefficiency of the market equilibrium. The market level of quality investment is excessive (insufficient) and consumers are too (little) picky from the point of view of welfare maximization if and only if a raise in quality results in that consumers inspect a higher (lower) number of products.

June 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Future of the Automated Mobility Industry: A Strategic Management Perspective

Sven Beiker, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Robert A. Burgelman, Stanford Graduate School of Business identify The Future of the Automated Mobility Industry: A Strategic Management Perspective.

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the automation and sharing aspects of the competitive dynamics of the emerging automated mobility industry. It applies strategic management, technological innovation and forecasting frameworks to examine how the different categories of industry entrants position themselves and interact with one another, and their differential chances for success. Related to the different types of entrants it considers various criteria of success, including expected market share of vehicle sales versus miles serviced, and the number of systems, technology solutions, or licenses sold. Whether firms enter the automated mobility industry with a lateral move from an adjacent industry or as startups without preexisting experience turns out to be an important strategic distinction for predicting success. The rate at which the industry is shifting also plays an important role because it defines how much time incumbents have to adapt to change and how much time new entrants have before their investments must begin to generate positive cash flows. Our analysis suggests that tech companies, ADAS suppliers, and startups with a welldefined focus are most likely to succeed. The paper ends with highlighting important strategic issues for further discussion with automotive industry researchers, industry analysts, and leading practitioners.

June 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dynamic Efficiency Measurement: Theory and Application

Elvira Silva and Spiro E. Stefanou, Food & Resource Economics; Business Economics Group explore Dynamic Efficiency Measurement: Theory and Application.

ABSTRACT: Nonparametric dynamic measures of production efficiency are developed in the context of an adjustment‐cost technology and intertemporal cost minimization. Bounds on each efficiency measure are derived for each firm using a nonparametric revealed preference approach. Long‐run efficiency measures indicate the relative efficiency of both variable and dynamic factors while short‐run measures of efficiency indicate whether variable inputs are employed efficiently in the production process. The efficiency measures are temporal in nature by describing the degree of efficiency of the firm at a particular point along its adjustment path. The empirical implementation is illustrated for a balanced panel of Pennsylvania dairy operators during 1986–1992.

June 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Competition law and health crisis

Fred Jenny (ESSEC) addresses Competition law and health crisis.

ABSTRACT: The unexpected shock provoked by the Covid-19 crisis and the measures taken to limit the spread of the pandemic have affected the functioning of many markets. Throughout the world, competition authorities which, in the last decade, had been enforcing their laws in the context of steady economic growth have had to adjust their enforcement practices not only to the difficulties of running their operations due to lockdowns but more importantly to adjust to collapsing markets or markets for essential goods characterized by severe shortages, in a context of deep economic depression with many firms facing severe liquidity constraints or even the threat of bankruptcy. Competition authorities have responded to these extraordinarily brutal circumstances by adjusting their enforcement priorities, exempting certain forms of cooperation, relaxing their standards for efficiency defence, adopting emergency procedures, allowing state aids under certain conditions, accepting mergers because the target had all of a sudden become a failing firm etc…. while at the same time insisting that these changes did not mean a weakening or an alteration of the competition law principles that they previously followed. This article describes in detail the responses of a number of competition authorities, analyzes the differences in the responses of various governments and competition authorities to the Covid-19 crisis and discusses whether these responses imply a departure from the traditionally accepted goals and enforcement principles of competition.

Download Concurrences No 2-2020 On-Topic F. Jenny (1) (2)

June 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Understanding Exclusionary Conduct Enforcement and Its Place in Antitrust Policy

Yair Eilat, Israeli Competition Authority has a paper on Understanding Exclusionary Conduct Enforcement and Its Place in Antitrust Policy.

ABSTRACT: There is perhaps no area in antitrust policy that is more prone to confusion and misunderstandings than enforcement against exclusionary conduct violations. This article develops a framework for understanding anti-competitive conduct policy that is built around three building blocks: Coordination, Exclusion, and Extraction. It then delves into the economics of Exclusion, using an intuitive classification of the economic mechanisms at play, and provides a detailed step-by-step guide to an antitrust agency’s enforcement efforts against exclusionary conduct violations. It also presents new approaches to evaluating Refusal to Deal situations and to understanding the concept of Market Power: these are important elements in exclusionary conduct policy but are often misconceived.

June 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

App Developers : The Connect Economy Webinar on Friday 26 June 2020 - 15.30-17.00 CEST

App Developers : The Connect Economy

Webinar on Friday 26 June 2020 - 15.30-17.00 CEST

Oliver BETHELL | Director - EMEA Competition, Google, London [bio]
Harry CLARKE | Associate General Counsel, Spotify, New York [bio]
John DAVIES | Executive Vice President, Compass Lexecon, London/Paris [bio]
Martin D’HALLUIN | Vice President, Associate General Counsel - Antitrust, News Corp, New York [bio]
Nigel PARR | Partner, Ashurst, London [bio]
Moderator : Liza LOVDAHL GORMSEN Director, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), London [bio]

Registration for this webinar : Click here to register for free

June 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Relation Between Environment and Competition Policy: Trends in European and National Cases

Annalies Outhuijse, University of Groningen, Faculty of Law addresses The Relation Between Environment and Competition Policy: Trends in European and National Cases.

ABSTRACT: This special issue contains discussions of cases in European and national practice concerning the interface between competition and environmental policy. Although the common denominator between the cases is a relationship with these two policy areas, a distinction can be drawn between two broad categories of cases. First, as we can imagine, measures taken with the objective of protecting the environment can have anticompetitive effects. In some cases, it is in fact not possible to secure environmental benefits without affecting the degree of competition in a market. The cases in this category illustrate a clear tension between competition and environmental protection, where it is up to the various stakeholders to achieve a balance between the two policy areas. The review of the reported cases also revealed another category of cases in which the anticompetitive behaviour was not a ‘necessary evil’ towards the achievement of an environmental objective, but was simply conducted in the interests of the companies involved, as it would have been done in other ‘ordinary’ anticompetitive practices. The relationship with environmental policy in these cases is that the companies work in environmental sectors, such as waste management and recycling schemes. This foreword covers both types of case and will highlight trends and differences found within European and national cases, primarily based on cases reported in e-Competitions.

June 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Effect of Common Ownership on Investment Decisions under Uncertainty

In Gyun Baek, University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Sewon Kwon, Sejong University - School of Business, and Dan Lynch, University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems address The Effect of Common Ownership on Investment Decisions under Uncertainty.

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the effects of firm-level common ownership on the level and efficiency of investment when firms face uncertainty. There is a current debate about the costs and benefits of common ownership, whereby a firm owns large stakes in multiple companies in the same industry. Critics of common ownership argue that it reduces competition and leads to a deadweight loss for the economy through decreased investment. Proponents of common ownership suggest that it allows firms to increase investment due to a reduced threat of involuntary knowledge spillover to rivals. This study contributes to this debate by examining the effects of uncertainty on these relationships. We find that common ownership allows firms to enjoy the value of waiting in the presence of uncertainty resulting in decreased investment that is more efficient. In contrast, common ownership increases investment when uncertainty is low, but these investments are less efficient. These results indicate that common ownership provides benefits to firms in the face of high uncertainty, but also allows firms to engage in value-destroying activities when uncertainty is low. These findings are important to regulators as they debate regulations that could limit common ownership.

June 12, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Technical Standardization Ecosystem and Institutional Decision Making: The Case of Intellectual Property Rights Policies

Justus Baron, Northwestern University - Searle Center for Law, Regulation and Economic Growth, Jorge L. Contreras, University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law, Martin Husovec, Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Stanford University - Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, Pierre Larouche, Université de Montréal; Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), Nikolaus Thumm, Joint Research Center of the European Commission address The Technical Standardization Ecosystem and Institutional Decision Making: The Case of Intellectual Property Rights Policies.

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we analyze decision making on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policies in the standardization ecosystem. While a large literature has studied IPR policies of Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs), we contribute a more rigorous analysis of how these IPR policies are shaped by the interdependencies between SDOs and between SDOs and a variety of stakeholders. While SDO stakeholders often have opposing policy preferences, they are tied together by non-generic complementarities and a joint interest in the overall performance of the standardization system, which are constitutive characteristics of an ecosystem. The standardization ecosystem is characterized by widely shared institutional norms, which – in the field of IPR – result in the preponderance of what we call a “Baseline Policy”. SDOs’ positions in the ecosystem contributes to explain where in the ecosystem institutional innovations going beyond the Baseline Policy are more likely to arise. We analyze different mechanisms of transmission of such novel practices, such as emulation and precedent.

June 11, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)