Regional Competition Center for Latin America presents: Competition Challenges in the Supermarket Sector

Regional Competition Center for Latin America presents: Competition Challenges in the Supermarket Sector – by Emek Basker (University of Missouri) and Michael Noel* (Noel Economic Research)

 

*Emek Basker is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri and an expert on the supermarket sector. Michael Noel is the head of Noel Economic Research and an expert in antitrust and regulatory economics.

Prof. Basker and Dr. Noel recently released a report on the distinguishing features of the supermarket sector, which present unique challenges for competition authorities monitoring this industry. The report details the experiences of other jurisdictions that may be relevant for Latin American agencies as the sector in these countries continues to evolve.

The first chapter of the report provides an introduction and highlights the supermarket sector’s unique features. First and most important is the universal nature of the demand for food. With few exceptions – generally extremely rural populations without access to markets and who consume a very limited variety of food items – everyone shops for food. The universality of food shopping implies that virtually all consumers are affected by competitive behavior in the sector and thus any anticompetitive behaviors can have wide reaching impacts. The universal nature of food consumption has also created specialized regulations in many countries related to food safety, which in turn have implications for co

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