Information, Communication and Competition
April 22, 2010
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Kai-Uwe Kühn (University of Michigan)
Philip Collins (OFT)
Gary Charness (University of California, Santa Barbara)
This ACLE conference addresses the role of information-sharing in the competitiveness of markets. Competition is affected by the extent to which market information and commercial business information is available to economic actors. The availability of market information can lead to production efficiencies and enhance transparency. Information disclosure is a crucial remedy to overcome information asymmetry in (regulated) markets for non-homogeneous, complex products such as financial services or telecommunications.
Yet, information-sharing also has a downside. The availability of information and the exchange of such information could facilitate coordination and collusion. Practice shows that cartels are often reinforced by information-exchange schemes. What is more, modern forms of collusion often fall short of actual cartel agreements and are limited to the sharing of information.
Competition authorities hit hard on collusive information-exchange schemes. The Commission's recent Bananas decision, cracking down a pre-pricing communications scheme on the North European market, is an example of a tough stance towards this more subtle form of collusion. Also Member States have been keen to terminate and punish unmeritorious forms of information-sharing. The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Dutch Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit (NMa) recently pursued information-exchange schemes precisely in the financial services sector and the telecommunications sector. OFT levied a double-digit fine on the Royal Bank of Scotland for sharing pricing information concerning loan products with competitor Barclays. The latter got off the hook after a successful leniency application. And the enforcement procedure of NMa against five mobile operators - leading to the preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice in case T-Mobile - demonstrates that even unilateral information disclosure (reduction of dealer remuneration) by a single competitor to its peers can be caught by the European cartel prohibition.
It becomes apparent from this brief description that the evaluation of information-sharing by economic actors poses economic and legal challenges. This conference provides a forum to discuss the circumstances under which information-sharing should be encouraged or discouraged and intends to clarify what types of information-transfers still fall within the scope of the cartel prohibition.
Call for papers - CLOSED
Academics, private practitioners and officials working with competition and other regulatory authorities, both with a legal and an economic background, are encouraged to submit their research for inclusion in the conference program. We welcome all original research (in progress) related to the topic.
Submissions (full papers or abstracts) may be sent together with the author's contact details to: ACLE@uva.nl.
For submission details, click below:
The deadline for submission is 26 February 2010. Decisions on acceptance to the program will be communicated early March.
The program takes place in the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law (Oudemanhuispoort 4-6) and ends with drinks and a dinner buffet in 'Brasserie Schiller' at Rembrandtplein.
For the complete program of presentations click on the link below.
Papers (or abstracts) available for downloading can be found at the link below.
Registration - NOW OPEN
The fee for this conference is €200 for practitioners and €100 for (full-time) academics.
To register for the conference, click on the link below. Payment details will be provided with the confirmation of your on-line registration. Please note that we have only a limited number of places available, so early registration is advised.
We can offer a limited number of fee waivers to selected young scholars (PhD candidates and post-docs). To qualify, please send your application by separate e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration fee includes conference participation, lunch, refreshments, closing drinks and buffet.
Conference venueThe conference takes place in the University of Amsterdam.
Closing drinks and buffet
The conference program will be closed with drinks and a dinner buffet in Brasserie Schiller, Rembrandtplein 26 in Amsterdam.
Participants are to arrange their own lodging. The following is a selection of hotels in de vicinity of the conference venues.
- The Grand *****Deluxe
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197
Phone: +31 (0)20 555 3555
Prices from € 275
- NH Doelen ****
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 24
Phone: +31 (0)20-5540662
Prices from € 135 (mention our client number "3359495.1332994" for this special rate. Availability is not guaranteed.)
- Le Coin ***
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 5
Phone: +31 (0)20 524 6800
Prices from € 95 (mention ACLE Conference for this special rate. Availability is not guaranteed.)
- Arena Hotel ***
's Gravesandestraat 51
Phone: +31 (0)20 8502400
Prices from € 100
- Hostel Stay OK Amsterdam Vondelpark
Phone: + 31 (0)20 5898996
Prices from € 73,50
The City of AmsterdamFor information on Amsterdam and surrounding events programmed in the city in April, see the link below.
The organizing committee consists of Kati Cseres, Michael Frese, Martijn Han, José Kiss (office), Maarten Pieter Schinkel (chair), Jeroen van de Ven and Rein Wesseling .
For further inquiries contact the ACLE Office at +31 (0)20 525 4162 or the e-mail address below.
For further information about the ACLE, see www.acle.nl.
Peripheral event: 4th CLEEN Meeting at ACLE, April 21
Following three fruitful meetings in Bonn, Norwich and Tilburg, ACLE hosts the 4th Competition Law and Economics European Network (CLEEN) Meeting in Amsterdam on 21 April 2010.
The workshop aims at providing PhD students and junior researchers in Competition and Regulation the opportunity to present their research projects. Both legal scholars and economists will present their work in 20 minutes with 10 minutes left for discussion. Each presenter is assigned a discussant who will kick off the discussion by challenging the paper on the most important points.
The meeting also allows for networking among members of the various nodes and exchanging research agendas. The latter objective is facilitated by a roundtable with senior researchers from the nodes discussing broader directions for research and possible synergies throughout the network.
Special NAKE session, April 23ACLE organizes a special session on "Experimental IO", chaired by Kai-Uwe Kuhn at the annual NAKE conference in Utrecht on April 23, 2010
Past ACLE C&R Meetings
The ACLE Competition & Regulation meetings are a series of annual workshops that focus on topics in competition law enforcement and regulation. Around a program of key-note speakers, (young) scholars discuss submitted academic papers in parallel sessions. The leading idea is to inform European competition policy. The aim is to attract roughly 150 specialized participants from academia, government antitrust agencies, law and consulting firms to create the optimal conditions for a high level exchange of views.
The first C&R Meeting, in February 2005, titled Remedies and Sanctions in Competition Policy: Economic and Legal Implications of the Tendency to Criminalize Antitrust Enforcement in the EU Member States, was on the trend to criminalize antitrust law in Europe. Key-note speakers included Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, William Kovacic, Eleanor Fox, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Wouter Wils and Bruce Lyons. There were in total eight parallel session meetings. A book with the best efforts of this opening event of the ACLE was recently published by Edward Elgar. For more information click on de link below.
The second C&R Meeting, in March 2006 was on Forensic Economics in Competition Law Enforcement. Key-note speakers included Franklin Fisher, Andrew I. Gavil and John Connor. In total eight parallel sessions showed a wide variety of scholarly contributions by scholars from a wide array of backgrounds. A special issue of the Journal of Competition Law and Economics on the topic is forthcoming. For more information click on de link below.
The third C&R Meeting, in March 2007, concerned Strategic Firm-Authority Interaction in Antitrust, Merger Control and Regulation. Key-note addresses by R. Preston McAfee and Stephen Calkins introduced discussion on a variety of economic and legal aspects of the game between regulatory agencies and the firms they control in ten parallel sessions. For more information click on de link below.
The fourth C&R Meeting, in April 2008, concerned the topic EC Competition Enforcement Data. In this special edition, a small group of specialists in competition law enforcement and econometrics, including Bruce Lyons, Stephen Davies, Tomaso Duso, Jo Seldeslachts, Klaus Gugler and Martin Carree met to discuss quality of data, sample selection bias issues, and possible hypotheses to bring to the data. For more information click on de link below.
The fifth C&R Meeting, in March 2009, was a two-day event on the topic To Enforce and Comply: Incentives inside Corporations and Agencies. Participants took a principal-agent approach to cartel formation and enforcement tools, with contributions by Joe Harrington, Bill Kovacic, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Xavier Vives, Jonathan Karpoff, Douglas Cumming, William Blumenthal, Bill Bishop, Andrea Appella, Robert Porter, Barry Rodger, Christof Swaak and Martijn Snoep. The conference included an evening at the movies, featuring the documentary "The Dutch Construction Cartel". For more information click on de link below.