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The search returned 7 results.

Public Procurement as a Safeguard for Competition: journal article

The Case of Smart City Services

Laurens Vandercruysse, Caroline Buts, Michaël Dooms

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 5 (2021), Issue 2, Page 102 - 111

Through the adoption of the European Union’s Digital Strategy, the European Commission aims to tackle pressing issues specific to markets of data-intensive services. One of these issues is the substantial and durable competitive advantage that emerges from having exclusive access to large sets of data. The Digital Markets Act proposal, a prime pillar of the Digital Strategy, allows for the identification of gatekeepers. These gatekeepers would then be subject to additional obligations, for example enabling wider data access. This article focuses on the market for smart city services and proposes the adoption of a more proactive approach through public procurement. We argue the onus should be on preventing service providers from becoming gatekeepers, rather than attempting to repair a competitive space once a gatekeeper has arisen. Keywords: smart city, public procurement, data protection, data sharing, EU Digital Strategy

Case Studies in Competition Policy Research: A Systematic Literature Review, by Shuping Lyu, Caroline Buts and Marc Jegers journal article

Shuping Lyu, Caroline Buts, Marc Jegers

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 4 (2020), Issue 2, Page III - XXV

The case study constitutes an important methodology in academic research, also in the field of competition policy. However, to the best of our knowledge, an elaborate review on how the case study method is applied in competition policy research is still missing. In response, this article presents a systematic literature review that comprehensively explores this topic through seven sub-questions: in which policy areas are case studies applied?; in which jurisdiction?; what are the specific purposes of the case studies applied?; how are the case studies designed (single or multiple)?; what is/are the specific case(s) about (unit of observation)?; how are the case studies undertaken (qualitatively or quantitatively)?; and are there significant relationships among several of these characteristics?. We confirm that the case study method plays an important role in research on competition policy. It is most adopted to study merger cases, especially in the US, the EU and China. It responds to a broad variety of research questions. A single case study is most frequently used. The topic studied can be an organisation, a sector or a location. Both qualitative and quantitative case studies are found, but qualitative case studies are more common. We report a significant relationship between the topic of competition policy and the objective, the unit of observation and the case study methodology applied. Furthermore, there is also a significant relationship between the objective and the case study methodology.

A Quantitative Analysis of the Efficiency of the EU’s Leniency Policy journal article

Lynn Vanhaverbeke, Caroline Buts

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 4 (2020), Issue 1, Page 12 - 22

Leniency policies constitute an essential part of antitrust enforcement. They are crucial for the detection as well as the deterrence of anticompetitive behaviour. While the usefulness of such policies is beyond doubt, and despite a wide range of theoretical models, very few studies quantitatively investigate their efficiency. By means of regression and variance analyses, this article studies the effects of the EU’s leniency policy from 1985 until 2017. More specifically, we analyse whether the leniency notice i) influences the amount of information that companies reveal to the European Commission, and ii) impacts the duration of the Commission’s investigation. We find that leniency policy leads companies to reveal more information regarding the anticompetitive conduct. Interestingly, leniency also increases the length of investigation procedures. Keywords: leniency policy; efficiency; provision of information; duration of investigation

Hub and Spoke Cartels: journal article

Incentives, Mechanisms and Stability

Rodrigo Londoño van Rutten, Caroline Buts

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 3 (2019), Issue 1, Page 4 - 16

A hub and spoke (H&S) cartel entails both horizontal collusive behaviour and the involvement of at least one member operating at a different level of the supply chain. The blend of vertical and horizontal restraints raises both economic and legal questions. This article explores the main determinants for the existence of H&S cartels. Based on twelve cases, we first build a typology and analyse three types of H&S cartels. We focus on the structure of the cartel, the collusive mechanism and the economic incentives of participants. For each type, we thus discuss the elements that are necessary to fix the anticompetitive cooperation. In a second phase, we present descriptive statistics on the number of players, on cartel duration and on the length of procedures. Finally, we present a brief generalised summary for two main H&S cartel types. The purpose is to gain a better understanding of the hub and spoke cartel phenomenon. Keywords: Hub and Spoke Cartels, Antitrust, Cartel Structure, Cartel Stability

On the Scope of Antitrust Law in South Korea, the EU and the US journal article

Comparing the Interpretation of ‘Agreement’ and ‘Illegality’

Jung Won Han, Caroline Buts, Tony Joris

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 2 (2018), Issue 2, Page 74 - 91

The introduction of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act in 1980 triggered the development and active enforcement of a competition policy in South Korea. While the aims of this Act are largely in line with those of EU competition law and US antitrust law, striking differences appear regarding the decisions in individual cases. This article presents a comparative analysis of the interpretation of two fundamental concepts in the EU, the US and South Korea: ‘agreement’ and ‘illegality’’. The results of this analysis indicate that the most notable differences are not found in the wording of the law, but rather in its interpretation through case law. The South Korean interpretation of an agreement seems to be substantially narrower than that of its Western counterparts and the analysis is conducted more formalistic. As a result, several types of information exchange that are illegal in the EU and the US, are not prosecuted in Korea as they do not qualify as an agreement. This wide divergence does certainly not contribute to legal certainty for globally active companies and hampers the further development of a healthy competitive market economy in South Korea.

Competition Policy’s Travels through Cyberspace: journal article

EU and US Enforcement of Vertical Restraints in Online Distribution

Caroline Buts

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 1 (2017), Issue 1, Page 26 - 35

The competition policy regime governing vertical restraints is part of a well-established tradition in both the EU and the US. While it was originally designed within a more classical brick-and-mortar distribution setting, the framework has learnt to accommodate the ever-growing online distribution channel. This article studies literature, policy texts and cases in order to document how the EU and the US have reacted towards vertical restraints in the online environment. Results show that the EU has clearly adopted a stricter attitude towards vertical restraints in e-commerce. The stricter EU approach could result from the general vertical restraints framework, from the vital role of the Internet for market integration as well as from a bias towards avoiding decision errors that fail to prohibit an anti-competitive practice. In contrast, the more ‘liberal’ US style seems to be inspired by Chicago elements and a clear preference towards avoiding errors that would prohibit a pro-competitive agreement. Travels through cyberspace seem to represent a small step for US competition policy and rather a leap for its EU counterpart.

Law in Action in the Private Security Industry: journal article

The Impact of Regulation on Competition

Glenn Scheerlinck, Caroline Buts, Genserik Reniers, Marc Cools

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 1 (2017), Issue 2, Page 96 - 114

This article studies the effect of different degrees of regulation on competition in the private security industry. An evolutionary law perspective, combined with economic theories of regulation provides a better understanding of the optimal balance between regulation and competition, and encourages policymakers to reflect on the consequences that sector specific rules might have on industry dynamics. In-depth insights result from a case study approach, consisting of the analysis of legal documents and industry data, in addition to interviewing key stakeholders. Based on three country cases (Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) we report diverse effects of industry regulation. The results hint at a positive relationship between the degree of regulation and industry concentration, meaning that more intense regulation leads to a higher concentration ratio. Regulation clearly acts as an entry barrier and intense regulation weighs more heavily on small newcomers than on large incumbents. From the interviews, we learn that the preferred balance is indeed tilted towards regulation, rather than towards competition, as sector specific rules are the primary tool to ensure high quality private security services.

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