Competition policy

Gregory Crawford, Cristina Caffarra, 08 June 2021

The CEPR's Research Policy Network on competition policy launches this week. In the first of two special podcasts on the topic, Greg Crawford and Cristina Caffarra tell Tim Phillips why it is so important to have this debate now, and how academics can use the RPN to connect their research to real-world policy.

You can find out more about and register for the event on June 17th 2021 here: Privacy & Antitrust: "Integration", not just "Intersection"

Walter Beckert, Howard Smith, Yuya Takahashi, 28 April 2021

Many antitrust investigations, particularly for intermediate goods, involve markets where the buyer negotiates with competing sellers and gets an individualised price. This column explores the conceptual differences between individualised pricing and standard uniform pricing, and reports some recent evidence that provides empirical support for the view that these differences can have a major impact on market power and merger effects, which should be accounted for in competition policy.

Pierre Régibeau, 13 March 2021

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission approved the acquisition of Fitbit by Alphabet, subject to a number of commitments. The case caused considerable concern that Google will gain unfair advantages in the online advertising market and ensure its dominance in digital health, with dire consequences for privacy. Critics also feared the acquisition would reduce Google’s incentives to keep its Android ecosystem open to rival wearable products. This column argues that the decision is appropriate, addressing the four main concerns. The suggested theories of harm have remedies or they are not supported by evidence to the requisite legal standard. 

Georges Siotis, Carmine Ornaghi, Micael Castanheira, 28 February 2021

A perplexing feature surrounding generic entry is that the price of the other on-patent potential substitutes is barelyaffected, leading competition authorities to conclude sometimes that a single molecule may constitute a distinct antitrust market.  Using data on prices, quantities, and promotional effort for a large number of molecules sold in the US, this column finds that there is no such thing as a single/natural antitrust market, even for a fixed set of products (and absent technological, regulatory, or trade shocks).  

Mark Schankerman, 19 February 2021

Diffusion of new drugs is painfully slow in low-income countries. Mark Schankerman tells Tim Phillips about how patent pools accelerate the process, and how we could still do a better job of licensing life-saving medicines.

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