Below we have provided the full text transcript from the Fireside Chat portion of our live-streamed conference, Merger Policy with 2020 Foresight, from June 6, 2020.
Hello, I’m Steve Salop. I teach economics and law at Georgetown university law center. I’m here with Frederic Jenny, who’s the chairman of the competition committee at the OECD. And we’re going to have a short fireside chat here in the middle of the summer on antitrust policy in the US and in Europe. So Frederic let’s start just by you framing the debate with respect to the merger policy in the US and Europe. Okay, So there have been different levels of discussions in the UN and the US about merger policy. And I think that one of the reasons is that in the US there has been quite a bit of concern about the increase in what was seen as an increase in aggregate concentration, increasing profit rates, increasing what was perceived to be a decrease in competition.
And therefore, there’s been a questioning of merger control, and whether it had been effective enough, whether the courts work too tough, whether the agencies were not daring enough, et cetera, et cetera. In Europe. I mean, first of all, I’m a bit skeptical about those statistics that are used. We had a debate on this at the OECD about two years ago. What is clear is that in Europe, we haven’t had much of an increase in concentration. Well, we have had an increase in profit rates in some industries like!-->!-->!-->!-->