Institutions and Competition Policy

We’ve got the details ready for our Summer Conference

ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, UEA

 Institutions and Competition Policy

CCP summer conference: 6-7 June 2013

 Always at the heart of competition policy, institutions have come under increased scrutiny in recent years. New agencies have been created in transition states, while established authorities in Europe have undergone change and reform. Curiously, the growing consensus on the principles and practice of competition policy has not been accompanied by a convergence on organizational form or legal frameworks. Bringing together economists, historians, legal scholars and political scientists, academics and practitioners, this conference assesses the importance of institutional design, looks at the impact of institutions, and investigates processes of organizational and legal change.  It addresses the following questions:

 * Origins and spread: What explains the original design of competition authorities in the US and in Europe? What factors led to their creation, what ideas, doctrines or ideologies underlay their responsibilities, and to what extent were principles disseminated transnationally?

 * Institutional design: What difference does institutional design make? How do institutions affect market outcomes? Is the one-authority model best or are there reasons to prefer a two-institutional model? What can be learned from comparing national competition policy regimes?

 * Organization and expertise: What form of internal organization is the most effective? Should lawyers and economists work in separate teams? What is the impact of the organization of expertise on decisions?

 * Enforcement: What difference do courts and legal cultures make? Is the inquisitorial or the prosecutorial model proved more effective?

 * Change: How best to theorise institutional change? Are generalizations about what drives change sustainable? What are the relative roles played by internal factors (ideology, party competition, the demands of regulates) and external influences (networks, such as the International Competition Network)? Is institutional reform in multi-level jurisdictions different?

 * Competition policy and consumer protection: Should responsibility reside in a single or in separate institutions?

 * Competition policy and regulation: How should competencies be divided between competition authorities and regulatory agencies? How can their work best be coordinated?


Hussein Kassim and Bruce Lyons

We look forward to welcoming you back to UEA next June. If you’d like more information in the meantime please do get in touch.

Visiting CCP this semester…

Tobias Wenzel will be visiting the Centre for Competition Policy for the next three months. Tobias is an assistant professor at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE). His research focuses on Industrial Economics with a particular emphasis on two-sided markets (media markets), entry in differentiated product markets and the regulation of shopping hours.

During his visit at CCP, Tobias will conduct research on consumer protection policies. The focus will be on obfuscation strategies by firms (price complexity, hidden charges, etc.). The main question is whether competition per se does help in improving to establish transparent  or whether additional consumer protection policies should be considered. On these topic,Tobias will collaborate with CCP researchers.

Reviews of “The Concept of Abuse in EU Competition Law”

Earlier this year Dr Pinar Akman published her book “The Concept of Abuse in EU Competition Law: Law and Economic Approaches“. CCP held a launch party and now we have a couple of reviews to share with you.

Tom Sharpe posts his thoughts here and Peter Freeman shares his views here, both on the Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog.