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Competition in Bidding Markets

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Abstract

The OECD Competition Committee debated competition in bidding markets in October 2006. Competition authorities become interested in auctions by a number of routes. In competition advocacy, they may advise other parts of government on how to design auctions in order to improve their efficiency—the degree of competition. They may evaluate mergers and agreements between firms that operate in auction markets. And they may be concerned with collusion and abuse of a dominant position in auctions. Because their formal rules reduce “noise” and make communication among rivals easier, auctions can promote collusion, compared with ordinary “posted-price” markets. But an auction can be designed to reduce collusion or concerted practices or to promote participation. Thus, the design of an auction can be the object of lobbying pressure. Auctioneers can also behave strategically, choosing auction formats or practices that favour competition. Two fundamental prescriptions for effective auction design follow from the theoretical literature: Induce bidders to truthfully reveal their valuations by making what they pay not depend entirely on what they bid, and maximize the information available to each participant before he bids.

Suggested Citation

  • Oecd, 2010. "Competition in Bidding Markets," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 69-151.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafkaa:5kmhbhp8sgs6
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/clp-10-5kmhbhp8sgs6
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