Policy brief

Antitrust, regulatory capture and economic integration

The paper investigates the distortions that national competition authorities generate when they pursue non-competitive goals in favour

Publishing date
22 July 2015

Highlights

- There is growing worldwide concern about bias in the enforcement of competition law in favour of domestic firms. Even seemingly neutral antitrust laws can lead discrimination if they are enforced selectively.

- Authors investigate the distortions that national competition authorities generate when they pursue non-competition goals in favour of domestic firms, and discuss ways to address this negative policy development in a globalised world.

- The distortions identified in the paper would dissipate if governments agreed that the sole objective of competition law ought to be the protection of consumer welfare that competition-law institutions ought to be protected against capture.

- A realistic and effective way to prompt international convergence towards independent enforcement of competition laws is through the inclusion of competition clauses in bilateral trade agreements and the development of dispute-resolution mechanisms.

About the authors

  • Mario Mariniello

     

    Mario Mariniello was Senior Fellow at Bruegel. He led Bruegel’s Future of Work and Inclusive Growth project, which closely analyses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the nature, quantity and quality of work, welfare systems and inclusive growth at large. In particular, the role of technology in reshaping society when subject to extreme stress (i.e. during a pandemic).

    Before joining Bruegel, Mario was Digital Adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), a European Commission in-house think-tank that operated under the authority of President Jean-Claude Juncker. The EPSC provided the President and the College of Commissioners with strategic, evidence-based analysis and forward-looking policy advice. In his capacity of Digital Adviser, Mario led the EPSC’s work on Digital Single Market issues.

    Mario has also previously been a Bruegel Fellow focusing on “Competition Policy and Regulation”. From 2007 to 2012, Mario was a member of the Chief Economist Team at DG-Competition, European Commission. During that time, he developed the economic analysis of a number of topical antitrust and merger cases in the technological and transport sectors.

    Mario holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Organization from the European University Institute of Fiesole (Florence) and a M.Sc. in Economics from CORIPE (Turin). He currently teaches a course in Digital Economy at the College of Europe and has previously taught a course in European Economic Integration for Master students at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

    Declaration of interests 2021

    Declaration of interest 2020

    Declaration of interest 2015

  • Damien Neven

    Damien Neven is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Senior Consultant at CL. He holds a doctorate in economics from Nuffield College, Oxford and has taught at INSEAD, the College of Europe and the University of Lausanne. He has acted as Chief Competition Economist at the European Commission from September 2006 to May 2011. He was closely involved in a number of key developments, both in terms of policy and case assessment. These included the adoption of the Non Horizontal Mergers merger guidelines, the Guidance Paper on the Priorities for the Enforcement of Article 102, the Guidelines on horizontal agreements and the Guidelines on the Submission and Evaluation of Economic Evidence. He has written numerous books and articles on competition economic and the economics of industry. His current research interests focus on merger control, exclusionary abuses and the coordination of enforcement across jurisdictions.

  • Jorge Padilla

    Dr. Jorge Padilla is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon Europe.

    Dr. Padilla earned M. Phil and D. Phil degrees in Economics from the University of Oxford. He is Research Fellow at the Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros (CEMFI, Madrid) and teaches competition economics at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).

    He has advised on various cases and given expert testimony before competition authorities and courts of several EU member states, as well as in cases before the European Commission. Dr. Padilla has submitted written testimony to the European General Court and the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal in cartel, merger control and abuse of dominance cases. He has also given expert testimony in various civil litigation (damages) and international arbitration cases.

    Dr. Padilla has written numerous papers on competition policy and industrial organization in the Antitrust Bulletin, the Antitrust Law Journal, the Economic Journal, the European Competition Journal, the European Competition Law Review, the European Economic Review, the Fordham International Law Journal, Industrial and Corporate Change, the International Journal of Industrial Organization, the Journal of Competition Law and Economics, the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, the Journal of Economic Theory, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the University of Chicago Law Review, and World Competition.

    He is also co-author of The Law and Economics of Article 102 TFEU, 2nd edition, Hart Publishing, 2013.

     

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