Economics on Demand – Seminar Series

Whether you’re faced with a merger investigation, competition litigation or market inquiry, a firm grasp of the economic evidence can make a valuable difference in strengthening your case.

Compass Lexecon recently hosted a series of seminars in which Senior Economists provided their personal insights on some important economic principles. They discussed ways in which, in their experience, these insights can be applied to specific cases.

Download the slides from each session via the links below.

Innovation and merger control: Concerns about incentives to innovate are increasingly expressed by authorities and raised in merger reviews. Senior Economists explore economic theories on the relationship between competition and innovation, including Shapiro’s three principles of contestability, appropriability and synergies and how they might be applied and consider the authorities’ approaches. Access the slides here.

Conditional rebates: Conditional rebates are common, and often offered for non-exclusionary reasons. Senior Economists look at common examples of conditional rebates, why firms use them and how they can be harmful to competition. Using the EC guidance structure, including the AEC test, they assess the competitive effects of each type of rebate and identify the questions to ask to understand the anticompetitive effects. Access the slides here.

Analysing two-sided markets in competition policy: Senior Economists provide a general overview of multi-sided platforms – what they are and why they matter for competition policy. They look at cases involving multi-sided platforms with varying levels of complexity, including the OFT investigation into Google/Waze and the Sainsbury’s/MasterCard case. Access the slides here.

Quantifying competition damages: Senior Economists look at trends in cartel fines and decisions and then take you through steps to calculating damages – including value of commerce, overcharges, pass-on/volume effect and interest, and the benefits of different calculation methods. They use a hypothetical example to tie it all together. Access the slides here.

Efficiencies arguments put forward in merger cases or horizontal agreements have traditionally had little traction in competition authorities’ proceedings. However, in recent years, there have been signs of a relaxing of the stance on crediting efficiencies. Senior Economists review the economics of efficiencies as well as their recognition in competition law and guidelines, and use two cases to illustrate the growing role of efficiencies in competition assessments. Access the slides here.

Pricing pressure measures in merger control: Senior Economists look at the evolution of pricing pressure analysis and explain the basic models (GUPPI vs Illustrative Price Rises) and how these are quantified using profit margins and diversion ratios, with references to the authorities’ approaches and intervention thresholds. They will review two examples of mergers in the mobile telecom and retail sectors. Access the slides here.