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Competition economics and antitrust in Europe

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  • Damien J. Neven

Abstract

"This paper aims to assess the influence that economic analysis has had on competition policy in the European Union over the last twenty years. Economists are increasingly used in antitrust cases; the annual turnover of the main economic consultancy firms has increased by a factor of 20 since the early 1990s and currently exceeds �20 million. This is about 15% of the aggregate fees earned on antitrust cases, a proportion close to that in the US. The economic resources mobilized by the EU Commission are, however, an order of magnitude smaller and this imbalance is a source of concern. The legal framework and the case decisions have also been influenced by economic analysis in important ways. For instance, the analysis of agreements between firms has increasingly focused on effects; the analysis of the factors that determine effective competition has become more sophisticated; the concept of collective dominance has been progressively developed in terms of the theory of collusion in repeated interactions, and quantitative methods have become more important. However, enforcement has sometimes appealed to economic reasoning in flawed or speculative ways; the paper discusses procedural reasons why this may have occurred. This paper assesses the system of evidence gathering implemented by the Commission in the light of the law and economics literature. It is concluded that while the reforms recently implemented by the Commission do address the main weaknesses of this system, they may still not allow for the most effective development of economic theory and evidence in actual cases." Copyright CEPR, CES, MSH, 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 21 (2006)
Issue (Month): 48 (October)
Pages: 741-791

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:21:y:2006:i:48:p:741-791

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2009. "Merger Simulation in Competition Policy: A Survey," Working Papers 82/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  2. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "A Note on Competing Merger Simulation Models in Antitrust Cases: Can the Best Be Identified?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200803, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & John Kay & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2006. "Chapter 5: Mergers and Competition Policy in Europe," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 101-116, 03.
  4. Patrice Bougette & Florent Venayre, 2008. "Contrôles a priori et a posteriori des concentrations : comment augmenter l'efficacité des politiques de concurrence ?," Working Papers 245031, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  5. Buccirossi, Paolo & Ciari, Lorenzo & Duso, Tomaso & Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Vitale, Cristiana, 2009. "Measuring the deterrence properties of competition policy: The competition policy indexes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Competition and Innovation SP II 2009-15, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Jarig Sinderen & Ron Kemp, 2008. "The Economic Effect Of Competition Law Enforcement: The Case Of The Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 365-385, December.
  7. Patrice Bougette & Florent Venayre, 2008. "Contrôles a priori et a posteriori des concentrations : comment augmenter l'efficacité des politiques de concurrence," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 9-40.
  8. Henry Ergas, 2008. "Should Australia Encourage Developing Countries to Adopt Competition Laws?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22307, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  9. Budzinski, Oliver & Haji Ali Beigi, Maryam, 2013. "Competition policy agendas for industrializing countries," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 81, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  10. Oliver Budzinski & Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, 2009. "Implications of Unprofitable Horizontal Mergers: A Positive External Effect does not Suffice to Clear a Merger!," Working Papers 84/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  11. Oliver Budzinski, 2010. "An Institutional Analysis of the Enforcement Problems in Merger Control," Working Papers 101/10, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  12. Henk Don & Ron Kemp & Jarig Sinderen, 2008. "Measuring the Economic Effects of Competition Law Enforcement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 341-348, December.
  13. Budzinski, Oliver & Wacker, Katharina, 2007. "The prohibition of the proposed Springer-ProSiebenSat.1-Merger: how much economics in German merger control?," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 160, University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration.
  14. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  15. Willem H. Boshoff, 2013. "Why define markets in competition cases?," Working Papers 10/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  16. Oliver Budzinski & Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, 2007. "Implications of Unprofitable Horizontal Mergers: A Re-Interpretation of the Farrell-Shapiro-Framework," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200714, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  17. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "Europäische Medienmärkte: Die Rolle der Wettbewerbspolitik," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200806, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  18. Martin Carree & Andrea Günster & Maarten Schinkel, 2010. "European Antitrust Policy 1957–2004: An Analysis of Commission Decisions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 97-131, March.
  19. Henry Ergas, 2008. "Should Australia Encourage Developing Countries to Adopt Competition Laws?," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 376, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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