14 Jun 2022 Events

Compass Lexecon Economics Conference - Call for papers

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Compass Lexecon invites paper submissions by those wishing to attend the Compass Lexecon Economics Conference to take place on Friday, 23 September 2022 at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, UK.

Conference details

The topic for the Compass Lexecon Economics Conference is “Recent developments in the economics of mergers, and the scope for novel techniques and analysis”.

The conference aims to provide a forum in which economists at government authorities, academic economists, and industry practitioners can exchange ideas on recent advances in empirical and theoretical academic work relevant to the economic analysis of mergers, recent practical experience in merger analysis, and new directions in methodology and approaches (e.g. use of machine learning and data science in merger analysis).

Merger control has become a highly debated topic in the past years as the concerns about the importance of competition in a fast-changing world have increased among different groups, including competition authorities, scholars, and practitioners. Merger control has played a crucial role in preserving innovation and consumer welfare throughout the fast-paced challenges of globalization and digitization, as well as unforeseen circumstances such as the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Recent global changes in competition regulation are a significant matter that affect the study of mergers from an academic and empirical perspective but also the practical analyses prepared by practitioners in the assessment of a potential merger. For example, the UK competition law enforcement has experienced a major strengthening of its authority post-Brexit and is adopting stricter guidelines when assessing mergers. Additionally, the European Commission has radically shifted its policies on using turnover-based thresholds to identify mergers relevant for competition. These new regulations mainly aim to target the fast-changing industries, such as pharmaceuticals and digital platforms, and prevent future “killer acquisitions”, for which the old competition policies have proven ineffective. Furthermore, competition agencies globally are pushing for stronger merger enforcement and the main players “are strongly encouraged to protect competition also when there is uncertainty raised by contentious mergers and to ensure the interests of consumers are promoted over the profits of the merging firms”.

The radical changes that have been made or that are to be implemented from competition authorities as a response to the significant technological advancements of the past years pose new challenges to be discussed among academics and practitioners in economics and allow for current and new approaches of merger assessment to be debated and further developed.

Paper submissions

Anyone wishing to be considered for attendance at the conference should submit an academic paper relevant to the conference topic. It is not a requirement that the paper is directly aimed at the analysis of mergers – we are happy to consider papers that are of a more general nature. However, we do prefer papers covering topics or methods which can have relevance to the economic analysis of mergers and related policy issues, for example papers on empirical methods in industrial organization, work in data science and machine learning which can be applied in merger analysis, work on market definition or other relevant theoretical work on firm and consumer behaviour.

We also welcome submissions of work in progress or incomplete papers, where the submission demonstrates that the work is sufficiently progressed to be presented.

Please submit your paper via email to EconConference@compasslexecon.com. No fee is charged for submissions.

Papers are accepted on a rolling basis, with the last date for submission being 29 July 2022. Authors will be notified about whether their paper has been accepted by 19 August 2022 at the latest.

For any questions regarding the conference or the paper submission process, please email EconConference@compasslexecon.com. For applicants selected to present at the conference, one night’s accommodation organised by Compass Lexecon as well as reasonable travel expenses up to £250 per person will be covered.

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.