Blog o’ Blogs September 2014

September 2014, Volume 4, Number 9
A WSJ essay extolling the virtues of monopoly created a lot of interest this month, as did articles on two powerful competition czars, FTC economists debating theory, two ECJ credit card cases, a controversial approach to abuse of dominance by a Commission Hearing Officer, and other pieces on Amazon, failing defense, pharm, data security, and collusion.
Competition is for Losers
Monopoly is therefore not a pathology or an exception. Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.
Peter Thiel (Wall Steet Journal)
‘Mr. Confession’ And His Boss Drive China’s Antitrust Crusade
The agency’s aggressive tactics coincide with an increasingly sobering business climate for foreign firms in China.
Michael Martina & Matthew Miller (Business Insider)
A new Commissioner for Competition
Does all this suggest that competition law will be playing more of an instrumental role and would be more permeable to influences from other policy areas?
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’ Competition)
Efficient Efficiencies Analysis
One of those new perspectives that should be useful is the economics of organizations.
Martin Gaynor (FTC)
Reference pricing is not a substitute for competition in health care
Reference pricing is simply a tool health insurers and employers can use to harness whatever provider competition may already exist.
Keith Brand, Christopher Garmon, and Martin Gaynor (FTC)
Groupement des Cartes Bancaires and the resilience of the case law on restrictions by object
It should now be clear beyond doubt that relying on pigeon holes or formal categories to identify object restrictions can often be misleading. 
Pablo Ibañez Colomo (C
hillin’ Competition)
MasterCard miffed as CJEU dismisses appeal
The judgment also examines some interesting legal points, including in particular relating to the use of “counterfactuals” in competition cases.
Tom Coates (Competition Bulletin)
Intel and the fight for the soul of EU competition law
An article that will certainly have a significant impact in the discussions on the convenience of following a “more economic approach” to abuse of dominance (and that is likely to be highly controversial, particularly among competition law economists).
Wouter Wils (via Alfonso Lamadrid, Chillin’ Competition)
Contradictions, Amazon and Attention
When Amazon provides the world’s largest bookstore — and it is getting larger and larger — how do authors compete in the market for attention?
Joshua Gans (Digitopoly)
United Kingdom Merger Control: Recent Developments in the Failing Firm Defence
In particular, it would appear to be extremely difficult to successfully rely on the defence in Phase I; this may reflect the relatively low threshold for referring a merger for a Phase II investigation.
Matthew O’Regan (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
Regulators Prescribing Higher Dose Of Pharmaceutical Antitrust Enforcement
The FTC has been emboldened by its victory in Actavis and will expand its enforcement efforts in the pharmaceutical industry beyond cash reverse payments.
Ankur Kapoor (Antitrust Today)
A Cost-Benefit Prescription for FTC Online Data Security Regulation
As a matter of first principles, one may question the desirability of FTC data security investigations under Section 5.
Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)
Who is Capable of Conspiring to Violate the Antitrust Laws?
But, sometimes, the question is whether the defendants are actually capable of conspiring together.
Jarod Bona (The Antitrust Attorney Blog)
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