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Blog o’ Blogs September 2015

 |  September 23, 2015
September 2015, Volume 5, Number 9
We start with a controversial editorial by Robert Reich on Big Tech, move on to exciting happenings in Europe (Corbyn’s victory, damages, an attack on economics, etc.) as the FTC weighs in on several key areas (Sysco, power regulation, active investors). Plus much more.
Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful
The real question is how government organizes the market, and who has the most influence over its decisions.
Robert B. Reich (New York Times)
Would Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister mean the end of Competition Policy?

Indeed, embracing the fundamental principles of competition and consumer protection may be essential to creating a package of economic policies that are coherent enough to win over aspirational centre-left voters.

Andreas Stephan (Competition Policy Blog)

Old-school antitrust with modern economic tools
But in many ways, the decision [Sysco] represents no great leap forward on any particular point of law or economic analysis.
Debbie Feinstein (FTC Competition Matters)
A Takedown of Common Sense: The 9th Circuit Overturns the Supreme Court in a Transparent Effort to Gut the DMCA
Not only did the court shamelessly misquote the Eleventh Circuit in stretching to find a justification for its prefered position, the court actually ignored its own precedent to the contrary.
Kristian Stout (Truth on the Market)
What’s with this obsession with the objectives of EU competition law?

The more I dig into the case law and administrative practice, the more apparent it is to me that the objectives of EU competition law are of marginal relevance in the decision-making process.

Pablo Ibáñez Colomo (Chillin’Competition)

Amendments made to the EU antitrust procedural rules to better reflect EU Damages Directive
For the first time, principles of the EU leniency and settlement programmes have been incorporated into “hard law” within the Implementing Regulation.
Rachel Cuff (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
Change may be coming to a plug near you
Measuring performance of new regulations against the goal of more choices and consumer-driven demand would strengthen competitive forces in retail markets and induce efficiency improvements and more rapid innovation.
John Seesel (FTC’s Competition Matters)
Competition Among Competition Regimes: Recent Developments in Europe and Welfare Implications
In particular, the implementation of the Directive will raise the financial risks for “dominant” or “potentially dominant” firms operating in Europe, who may be further disincentivized from undertaking novel welfare-enhancing business practices that preserve or raise their market share.
Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)
EU judgment confirms potential of high cartel fines for vertically integrated multinational companies
The judgment stands as a striking example of the extra-territorial application of the EU competition rules to the calculation of fines.
Peter Citron (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
Regulators Need to Scrutinize Health Insurance Mergers

Two proposed mergers involving four of the nation’s biggest health insurers could reduce competition in an important industry.

Editorial Board (NY Times)

Slower Crony Capitalism: The Immediate Aftermath of NC Board
So the case, so far, has expanded application of the federal antitrust laws, triggered more lawsuits and resulted in more, not less, state oversight of economic activity.
Steven Cernak (AntitrustConnect Blog)
“Investment-only” means just that
This settlement thus contains valuable information for investors as well as CEOs or board members about conduct that is inconsistent with an intent to be a passive investor.
Debbie Feinstein, Ken Libby, & Jennifer Lee (FTC Antitrust Matters)
Advocate general deals another blow to economic assessment of rebates
It is disappointing to see economics on the ‘too difficult’ pile for regulators and courts.
Bill Batchelor (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
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