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CPI Blog o’ Blogs February 2013

 |  February 19, 2013
February 2013, Volume 3, Number 2
This month, the Commission, DOJ, FTC, U.K. authorities, state attorneys general, and the Courts are all taking blows and even Alfonso and Nicolas over at Chillin’ Competition are sparring. The WSJ may think that the DOJ antitrust lawyers are “the least interesting in the world,” but we thought this was an especially exciting month in the competition blogging arena.
Is it illegal to exclude illegal firms?
The Court of Justice held that the fact that the undertaking that is being affected by an anticompetitive agreement might be operating illegally on the market is irrelevant.
John Wileur (The Antitrust Hotch Potch)
“Inability to pay”-how final is a fines decision?
Final decisions imposing fines might not be as final as they used to be.
Jessica Walch (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
FTC upcoming antitrust case, FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System
It seems wrong to conclude that nonprofits will systematically act in ways that are more pro-consumer than their for-profit counterparts.
Sasha Volokh, Bernie Black (The Volokh Conspiracy)
What I really meant (on recourse to commitment decisions)
I see a trend pursuant to which commitment decisions are used to address practices that the competition authority regards as likely to have anticompetitive effects…but that it cannot comfortably address under current legal standards.
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’ Competition)
The Least Interesting Lawyers in the World
Do antitrust lawyers drink beer, or for that matter grocery shop?
Opinion (Wall Street Journal)
Rivals for Attention
The implication for antitrust is that at least when it comes to seeking attention we need to focus on the competition for attention rather than the particular products they are using to attract that attention.
David S. Evans (Competition Policy International)
Study examines role of state attorneys general in antitrust enforcement
…the increased role of state attorneys general in interstate and high-technology antitrust cases is a “costly intrusion into commercial activity that hinders competition.”
Jessica Karmasek (Legal Newsline)
Revolving doors
Impartial justice must not only be done, it must also be seen to be done (a 3-part debate between Alfonso Lamadrid and Nicolas Petit on whether there’s a pro-Commission bias at the Court.)
(Chillin’ Competition)
Killing a good thing
The general perception is that a world-class organisation is being dismantled so that when the new body gets going in 15 months time, it will be (to use a football analogy) San Marino rather than Spain that runs out onto the field of play.
Max Findlay (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
Has the UK opened the floodgates to private enforcement of competition law?
The debate about opt-out class actions has been fierce on national and EU levels but this is still a surprising move – will it work? 
Sebastian Peyer (Competition Policy Blog)
UK Cartel Enforcement: Past, Present, and Future
We are, more than ever, thinking and behaving like a mainstream criminal enforcement agency.Ali Nikpay (ICN Blog)
Privatization and Antitrust
…antitrust law may focus on certain problems and choose to ignore others as unrealistic because of an assumption that firms behave as profit-maximizers-but…this may be a bad assumption when firms are owned (or even heavily regulated) by government. (A 4-part blog on privatization and competition as discussed forthcoming Stanford University Press book on Competition and the Role of the State.)
Sasha Volokh (The Volokh Conspiracy)
New study takes aim at critics of private antitrust enforcement
The flaws of private antitrust enforcement “have been exaggerated beyond recognition and its benefits have been seriously underestimated.”
Andrew Longstreth (Reuters)
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