Publications

E.CA Economists publish regularly in academic journals, competition and regulation journals and the more popular business press. We speak frequently at conferences, workshops and symposiums.

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Article

How to Choose the Lesser Evil When Defining Local Markets?

Alexis WalckiersOlivier Body, Journal of European Competition & Practice (JECLAP), April 2021

Economists often weigh the pros and cons of different alternatives, none of which is ideal (or first best in economic jargon). The latest paper of our director Alexis Walckiers and his former colleague of the Belgian Competition Authority, Olivier Body, discusses one of such choices: whether to define local markets by relying on catchment areas or by applying a hypothetical monopoly test. It argues that competition authorities should recognise more explicitly that this choice should be driven by the quality of the available data.

They address the issue of geographic market definition, which could be discussed in the context of the review of the Communication on the definition of the relevant market. Specifically, based on the observation that competition authorities use two methods to define the relevant geographic market (the SSNIP test and catchment areas), they argue that the Guidelines should more explicitly recognize that the quality of the available data should guide the choice of the most appropriate method.

Link to article


Papers & reports

When Do Markets Tip? An Overview and Some Insights for Policy

Özlem Bedre-DefolieRainer NitscheJournal of European Competition Law & Practice, February 2021

Find out in the latest research by Özlem Bedre Defolie, associate professor at ESMT Berlin, and Rainer Nitsche, director at E.CA Economics and research fellow at ESMT Berlin, published by the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice.

Competition authorities are increasingly concerned that their tools are not fit to deal with markets with digital multi-sided platforms (MSPs). These markets have a tendency to ‘tip’ in the sense that one MSP takes it all or dominates the market by far. Policy makers, including the EC, are currently considering various initiatives to prevent tipping in markets with MSPs. At least in Europe, general search markets have tipped for Google, and many social media markets have tipped for Facebook. Several regional platform markets, however, did not tip (e.g. real estate, music, video-on-demand streaming). This raises some interesting questions: Why don’t we have tipping in these markets? Might they tip? Should competition authorities and regulators follow a particular strategy to prevent tipping in markets at risk of tipping?

Link to Press Release

Link to pdf

Link to Website


Papers & reports

Support study for the revision of the EU Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy applicable in 2014-2020

Elżbieta GłowickaHans W. FriederiszickAnselm MattesArvid ViaeneJan Christopher Rönnand others, DIW Berlin, SheppardMullin, University of East Anglia, European Commission 2021, January 2021
Article

Analyse de la concurrence locale par l’Autorité belge de la Concurrence

Alexis WalckiersOlivier Body, Griet Jans, Jeroen Vander Cruyssen, Bert willekens, Revue de la Concurrence Belge, Vol. 2020-4, p.330, December 2020

Our director Alexis Walckiers has published an article on the analysis of local competition by the Belgian Competition Authority with his former colleagues Olivier Body, Griet Jans, Jeroen Vander Cruyssen, and Bert Willekens.
This article seeks to explain how local markets are defined by the Belgian Competition Authority, depending on the quality of available data.

Link to article


Article

GCR Insight – Enforcer Hub – Germany overview

Hans W. FriederiszickThomas HildebrandSimone KohnzRainer NitscheGCR Insight, Enforcer Hub, January 2021

Hans W. FriederiszickThomas Hildebrand, Simone KohnzRainer Nitsche, contributed to the GCR’s Enforcer Hub  – Germany overview
– which is now live on GCR Insight.

An extract from GCR’s Enforcer Hub is available here. The whole publication is available at https://globalcompetitionreview.com/insight/enforcer-hub/2020


Papers & reports

14th Edition of Focus on Competition

Gregor LangusBrecht BooneKaranovic & Partners,, December 2020

Our director Gregor Langus and manager Brecht Boone contributed to the 14th edition of FOCUS ON COMPETITION, published by Karanovic & Partners. It features insightful articles on various hot topics from some of the most prominent figures in the field of competition law.

Gregor and Brecht explain how irreversibility of investment combined with market power can result in a delay in investments in the current climate of high uncertainty due to Covid-19. Building on these insights, the authors discuss the implications for the design of state aid and other fiscal policies.

Link to publication


Papers & reports

Loyalty Penalty Report

Paul HeidhuesMichael RauberJohannes Johnen, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), December 2020

Professors Paul Heidhues and Johannes Johnen with support of Dr Michael Rauber of E.CA Economics carried out a research report for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Now the CMA has published the report that reviews the academic literature on the economic theory of the loyalty penalty. This includes both the classical theory such as switching and search costs, and behavioural theories explaining phenomena like consumer inertia.

The study aims to understand how pricing patterns can arise under differing assumptions, whether they may be considered pro- or anticompetitive and what welfare implications may arise. Moreover, the study sets out the lessons it has to offer thereby considering the pros and cons of a wide range of possible policy options ranging from direct price regulation, to intermediaries such as price comparison websites and encouraging consumers to switch.

Link to the study

Link to the study on CMA website


Papers & reports

Innovation as a standalone concern in horizontal mergers

Gregor LangusVilen LipatovCompetition Law and Policy Debate, November 2020

Article, Papers & reports

The impact of EU cartel policy reforms on the timing of settlements in private follow-on damages disputes—an empirical assessment of cases from 2001 to 2015

Hans W. FriederiszickLinda GratzMichael RauberJournal of Antitrust Enforcement, Volume 9, Issue 2, July 2021, Pages 313–346, November 2020
Papers & reports

Pre-empting the entry of near perfect substitutes

Vilen LipatovDamien Neven, Georges Siotis, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, September 2020