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News Archive 2013

Articles in ESRC Britain in 2014 Magazine

Four members of CCP have had articles published in the ESRC Britain in 2014 magazine.

Download copies of their articles from our Articles 2013 page.

 

CCP announces forthcoming Behavioural Economics book

The launch of CCP's forthcoming book: 'Behavioural Economics in Competition and Consumer Policy,' will take place on 27 November at the Competition Commission. Email ccp@uea.ac.uk to register your interest in attending the launch. 

'Behavioural Economics in Competition and Consumer Policy' has been written by CCP researchers from economics, law, politics and business management; it reflects their interest and expertise in the area and the Centre's multidisciplinary approach to policymaking. The book draws on the insights researchers have acquired - through surveys, experiments, theoretical work and market case studies - into specific behavioural issues and how these may or may not be resolved by intervention.

 

"Perspectives on the Unitary (EU) Patent System" - joint CCP/Oxford IECL Workshop

Christopher Wadlow and Georg von Graevenitz spoke at the joint CCP / Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law workshop, "Perspectives on the Unitary (EU) Patent System" which was held at Jesus College, Oxford on the 4 & 5 October 2013. The workshop was opened by Sir David Kitchin of the Court of Appeal, and the closing remarks were made by UEA Alumna (and former President of the European Patent Office), Alison Brimelow. 

Dr Peter Whelan publishes a case note on the CISAC judgment in the Journal of European Competition

In April 2013 the General Court partially annulled the Commission's CISAC decision on the basis that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to prove a concerted practice involving copyright collecting societies. Dr Whelan's case note explains the judgement and analyses its future implications.

 

Dr Peter Whelan contributes to launch of Oxford Competition Law

As its Managing Editor, Dr Peter Whelan (CCP Member and Senior Lecturer in Law, UEA) contributed to the recent online launch of Oxford Competition Law, which is published by Oxford University Press. Oxford Competition Law is a fully integrated online service combining universally recognised market leading commentaries (Bellamy & Child, Faull & Nikpay, and Whish & Bailey) with rigorous, selective case reports and analysis from EU member states. The service is continually updated with cases and materials and its law case reporting service offers translations into English of the key portions of foreign language judgments.

For more information on Oxford Competition Law, including a blog entry from Dr Whelan, please click here.

 

Dr Peter Whelan publishes article on cartel criminalisation and due process in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

Dr Peter Whelan (CCP and UEA Law School) has had his article, ‘Cartel Criminalisation and Due Process: the Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions within the EU', published in the latest edition of Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. An abstract of his article can be found below.

Abstract

There is increasing debate within the EU concerning the imposition of criminal sanctions upon those individuals who engage in cartel activity. For it to be legitimate, such cartel criminalisation must respect the due process guarantees contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. Unfortunately the literature on this issue is deficient and the specifics of this legal challenge are not fully understood. In particular, a comprehensive analysis of the due process-related challenge presented when personal criminal antitrust sanctions are employed alongside administrative sanctions for a given cartel is conspicuously absent from the literature. This article rectifies this deficiency by examining this particular legal challenge and its relevance to information exchange, double jeopardy and concurrent antitrust proceedings. In doing so, it identifies practical techniques designed to meet the challenge of due process in this context, as well as the inherent tensions between due process and the objectives of European antitrust criminalisation.

Peter Whelan, ‘Cartel Criminalisation and Due Process: the Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions within the EU' (2013) 64(2) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 143.

Professor Catherine Waddams appointed Non Executive Director for Ofwat

CCP member Catherine Waddams has been appointed as Non Executive Director for the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) Board. Read more about the appointment at the gov.uk press release.

CERRE: Public Service Obligations and Competition - new study

CERRE (Centre on Regulation in Europe) is publishing a study on "Public Service Obligations and Competition." This study is co-authored by Professor Catherine Waddams, Dr Michael Harker and Antje Kreutzmann - all members of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy.

The report outlines the current provision made for public service obligations across telecoms, postal service, electricity, gas and railways at the European level and as implemented in four EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany and the UK). The focus is on how universal service obligations - which often involve an element of cross-subsidy - may distort competition.

The findings of this study report will be presented in a CERRE Expert Workshop on 15 May 2013.  Visit the CERRE website for more information about the study and event.

 

News Archive 2012

CCP Member joins Board of EPIP

Georg von Graevenitz has been elected as a member of the board of the European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) association for 2012-2013.

EPIP is is an international, independent, interdisciplinary, non-profit association of researchers, the central concern of the association is the various challenges and policy issues that are raised by the evolution of the IP institutions in the context of the new knowledge-based economy, an area of great policy concern for the future of European economic competitiveness and social cohesion.

CCP reaches Chile

CCP Faculty member Bruce Lyons has just returned from Santiago, Chile where he gave a two-day expert course to the Chilean and other Latin American Competition Authorities on the Economics of Mergers and Merger Control.  The course was sponsored by the FCO. 

Bruce also gave a keynote address on the Benefits and Costs of Merger Control at Chile's annual Competition Day (22nd October 2012), which was opened by the Minister for Business.  Remarkably for a country of Chile's size, Competition Day attracts an audience of 350 lawyers, business and media people.

Dr Peter Whelan presented oral evidence to the New Zealand Parliament

On 29 November 2012, Dr Peter Whelan, a Faculty Member of CCP, presented oral evidence to the Commerce Committee of the New Zealand Parliament on Clause 18 of the Commerce (Cartels and other matters) Amendment Bill. Clause 18 of this Bill introduces criminal cartel sanctions in New Zealand. If Clause 18 is adopted convicted cartelists will face a maximum sentence of 7 years of imprisonment.

Dr Whelan argued that custodial sentences for cartel activity could be justified on the basis of optimal deterrence and that such sanctions should form an integral part of the enforcement armoury of those jurisdictions which are dedicated to the fight against hard core cartel activity. Relying on his forthcoming article on the morality of cartel activity which will be published shortly in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Dr Whelan further argued that cartel activity displays significant negative moral qualities and that ‘over-criminalisation' is therefore not an issue with cartel criminalisation. 

While Dr Whelan agreed in principle with the adoption of Clause 18, he argued that its exact wording could be improved upon. In fact, he recommended that the Commerce Committee introduce an amendment to Clause 18. Specifically he argued that the current defence of ‘honestly believing' that an exemption existed for a cartel should be narrowed to ‘honestly and reasonably believing' that an exemption existed. He argued that the defence as currently drafted would incentivise ignorance of competition law and have a negative impact upon the operation of compliance programmes.

Dr Whelan's research on cartel criminalisation forms the substance of his forthcoming book The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges, which will be published by Oxford University Press as part of their series Oxford Studies in European Law

Dr Peter Whelan presents the results of his competition law research in China

Dr Peter Whelan and colleagues at Chinese conference. Dr Peter Whelan, a Lecturer in Law at UEA Law School and a Faculty Member of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, recently presented the results of his legal research at the conference ‘International Symposium on the Frontier of Antimonopoly Law Enforcement' held in Hangzhou, the People's Republic of China. The conference examined in particular how the enforcement of Chinese competition law could be improved in future. Speakers at the conference included officials from the Chinese competition authorities, as well as legal academics and/or practitioners from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

Dr Whelan delivered a presentation entitled ‘The Challenges of Cartel Criminalization: Lessons from the EU and the UK', in which he detailed some of the legal and practical challenges which face jurisdictions that wish to enforce their competition laws with criminal sanctions against individuals. Dr Whelan's research on this particular topic forms the substance of his forthcoming book The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges, which will be published by Oxford University Press as part of their series Oxford Studies in European Law.

News Archive 2011

Andreas Stephan responds to OFT consultation

CCP Faculty member Andreas Stephan has responded to the Office of Fair Trading consultation on  competition compliance guidance. To read the full submission click here.

Catherine Waddams interviewed for radio on the CCP annual conference

CCP's director Catherine Waddams about the subject of this year's annual conference Consumers in Competition Policy.

Catherine was interviewed by BBC Radio Norfolk, discussing consumer behaviour in markets and why it is important to study them. The interview was aired on 16th June 2011.

Catherine Waddams speaks at Beesley Lecture

Catherine Waddams chaired and responded to the second in this year's series of Beesley lectures at the Institute of Directors in London.

The lecture was by Peter Freeman, CBE, QC, former chairman of the Competition Commission, who was speaking on Restructuring Competition Policy – What is the best institutional model? The lecture was part of The Institute of Economic Affairs 21st annual lecture series. To download Catherine Waddams response to Peter Freeman's talk click here

To find out more about the IEA Beesley Lectures click here

CCP 7th annual conference

Topics and dates announced for CCP annual conference.

The 2011 annual conference will be held on the 16th and 17th June at the UEA, Norwich. The theme will be Consumers in Competition Policy and the conference will explore theory and evidence on how consumers behave in markets, how firms respond and the implications for antitrust policy, with an emphasis on natural experiments and sector studies. Contributions will be from the various disciplines found within the Centre and a mixture of theoretical and empirical approaches.

Confirmed speakers include Meghan Busse, Kati Cseres, Geraint Howells, Steve Puller, David Reiley, Robert Sugden, Spencer Weber Waller and Florian Zettelmeyer. More information, including how to book, will be on the website early 2011. 

CCP 8th Annual Conference - call for papers

Dates for the CCP's 8th annual conference have been announced. The conference, on 'What Do Public and Private Sanctions in Competition Policy Actually Achieve?' will be held on the 14 and 15 June 2012 at the UEA in Norwich.

The call for papers is open to academics and researchers in the field of law, economics and political science. For more information on how to submit a paper for consideration, please click here

CCP announces programme for annual conference

CCP has announced a preliminary programme for its upcoming conference in June. To download the preliminary programme click here To find out more about the conference, including details of how to book visit the conference page  

2011 Annual Conference

Consumers in Competition Policy 16-17 June

The centre's hosted a 7th successful annual conference, which discussed Consumers in Competition Policy, with almost 100 delegates attending throughout the two days.
 
The conference, held on campus in the UEA Drama Studio, addressed questions surrounding consumer behaviour in markets, including the factors that determine how active consumers are, switching behaviour, whether the markets deliver what consumers actually want and the policy implications.
 
The final programme can be downloaded here
Pictures from the conference

 

 

News Archive 2010

Morten Hviid interviewed for TV and radio on the UK Care Home Market

CCP faculty member and Professor in the UEA Law School interviewed about new research, co-authored by Ruth Hancock, into the price of UK care home places.

Morten Hviid was interviewed by BBC Look East discussing the new research, that suggests that by using their buyer power, local authorities could be driving up the cost of privately funded care home places and forces other homes out of the market. The interviewed was also featured on BBC Radio Norfolk, Radio Cambridgeshire and Radio Essex, as well as appearing in the Eastern Daily Press and Community Care website.

CCP at UNCTAD's Research Partnership Platform's first meeting and 6th UN Review Conference in Geneva

UNCTAD's Research Partnership Platform (RPP) links CCP with twenty-four other research institutes around the world. The purpose of the platform is to establish an inter-disciplinary research network on competition and consumer protection policies, with a particular emphasis on development.

The first meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible research themes under the RPP and to network with other academics involved in the initiative. Following the first meeting of the RPP, Dr Andreas Stephan was invited to observe the 6th UN Review Conference on Competition in Geneva. The conference marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Set on Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices. It reflected the wide proliferation of competition policy internationally and the enthusiasm with which countless governments are embracing its principles.  

Catherine Waddams participates in radio interview and quoted in national media

CCP director speaks about Government's decision to axe over 100 quangos. Catherine Waddams was quoted in the Guardian discussing the Government's decision to axe over 100 quangos, including Consumer Focus. For link to article click here

Professor Waddams was also interviewed by Moneybox for her views' on what the abolition of these quangos will mean for consumers. To download the podcast visit the Moneybox website

Graham Loomes elected to British Academy

Professor Graham Loomes has been elected as a fellow of the UK's national body for humanities and social sciences. The annually elected fellows consist of UK-based scholars who have achieved distinction in the field of humanities and social science, and only a small number of fellows are elected. For more information on the British Academy click here

CCP member carries out report on price guarantees for Ofcom

Professor Morten Hviid was commissioned by Ofcom to provide consultation on price guarantees. The literature review which was published on 9th September and is available here is used in Ofcom's strategic review of consumer switching which can be found on their pages here Professor Hviid's most recent paper with Professor Greg Shaffer has just been published in Journal of Industrial Economics  

CCP hosts UEA London seminar

CCP has announced it is hosting a seminar What has Competition Policy ever done for me? to discuss how action in competition policy has benefitted citizens.

The seminar, which launches a series of SSF talks, held throughout the autumn, to promote the faculty's research strengths, will take place at UEA London on 22nd September.

At the CCP seminar, Centre member Hussein Kassim (PSI) will discuss Air Transport and the European Union: How Brussels freed the skies, Michael Harker (Law) will present Content is King: BSkyB, Ofcom and the FA Premier League and Andreas Stephan (Law) will talk on antitrust regulation, Theft by Well Dressed Thieves? Thomas Sharpe QC One Essex Court and a member of the CCP Advisory Board, will also speak on "Costs and benefits of Competition Policy: some problems with official enforcement". The event will take place at 6-7.30pm. For more information on the event click here For more information on UEA London click here

The CCP is now part of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Research Partnership Platform, linking it with twenty-four other research institutes around the world. The purpose of the platform is to establish an inter-disciplinary research network on competition and consumer protection policies, with a particular emphasis on development. For more information on the network click here

Daniel Zizzo wins Arrow Prize

CCP faculty member Daniel Zizzo has been awarded Arrow Prize for Senior Economists

Daniel was confirmed as the winner of the The Kenneth J. Arrow Prize for Senior Economists for his paper with Gordon Douglas Menzies. For more information click here

Leading US Antitrust Professor visits CCP

The Centre for Competition Policy is delighted to welcome Professor Andrew I Gavil (Howard University, School of Law) as a visiting Professor. During his stay, Professor Gavil will deliver a number of master class lectures to members of the CCP, including Faculty and postgraduate students of Norwich Law School. Andrew has written, lectured, and commented extensively in the US and abroad on various aspects of antitrust law, jurisdiction, and procedure. Having Andrew around for an extended period will enable researchers at CCP draw further comparative insights into their work on competition law and policy.

For more information on Professor Gavil click here

CCP faculty named among Top Female Antitrust Professors

CCP Director Professor Catherine Waddams and faculty member Dr Pinar Akman have both been identified by Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog as among the Top Female Antitrust Economics and Law Professors.

In a list dominated by American Ivy League universities, Professor Waddams is the only British and one of only four European academic women antitrust economists in the global Top 20.  Dr Akman is one of three Europeans in the global Top 10 up and coming women academic lawyers.

The list was posted by Professor Daniel Sokol from the University of Florida and editor of this highly regarded blog. To view the whole list click here

Bruce Lyons on panel for BIS conference

Professor Lyons was a member of the expert panel at a full day Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) conference on 12th March. The aim was to advise on their economic and social research strategy so that it could appropriately inform government policy.

Andreas Stephan joins BIS advisory panel

Dr Andreas Stephan of Norwich Law School and CCP has been invited to sit on a new academic advisory panel created by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The panel will act as a discussion forum, advisory BIS on economic policy. It has been created to help the department better understand the latest academic research and advice on economic and social developments and policy.

Andreas Stephan quoted in international media

Andreas Stephan was widely quoted in the media following the announcement from the OFT that the Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay a fine of £28.6m for price-fixing after it shared confidential information with Barclays.

RBS Pays, and Barclays Walks, in Loan Case (The Wall Street Journal), RBS Fined for Breaching UK Competition Law (Reuters), RBS Hit by £28.6m Fine in Loan Price-Fixing Scandal (Daily Express)

Bruce Lyons advice on competition and cooperation in the NHS

The efficient organisation and delivery of health services is crucial to patient welfare, but is this best achieved by competition and cooperation? Professor Bruce Lyons has been appointed part-time to the Economics Reference Group which advises the Cooperation and Competition Panel of the NHS on how to draw the line.

The panel helps support the delivery to patients and taxpayers of the benefits of competition. It does this by investigating and advising the Department of Health on matters such as mergers and joint ventures between NHS Trusts, or possible restrictions in choice due to relationships between providers and commissioners of NHS services. For more information on the panel click here.

CCP hosts joint London Conference

The issue of Competition in Public Policy was discussed by over a hundred policy makers, practitioners and academics at a joint conference hosted by the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy and the Regulatory Policy Institute, based at Oxford University, on 8th March in London.

Distinguished contributors included the Chair of the UK Competition Commission Peter Freeman, the CEO of the Office of Fair Trading John Fingleton and the chief economists from the EC Competition Directive and the Antitrust Division of the US Dept. of Justice. Catherine Waddams also discussed 'Competition and Consumer Protection in Retail Energy Markets'.

For more information from the day and to view the presentation slides click here.

Pinar Akman quoted in national newspaper

Dr Pinar Akman was quoted in the Guardian discussing the struggle of independent DVD stores against Blockbuster.

For link to article Why Blockbuster's Studio ties leave independent DVD stores struggling click here.

CCP Professor carries out independent review for OFT

Professor Steve Davies was commissioned by the OFT to carry out an independent review of its impact estimation methodologies.

The report was published in January 2010 and assesses the methodologies applied to each area of the OFT's work and suggests possible modifications. Click here to read the review and here for the OFT response.

The Role of Competition in Public Policy: RPI and CCP joint conference

The Centre for Competition Policy and the Regulatory Policy Institute is hosting a joint conference on 8th March at One Great George Street London. Speakers included Peter Freeman, Chairman of the Competition Commission, Professor Carl Shapiro, Chief Economist, US Dept of Justice, Antitrust Division, John Fingleton, CEO, Office of Fair Trading and Centre Director Professor Catherine Waddams.  

CCP 6th annual conference

Dates and venue have been announced for CCP's summer conference.

This year's summer conference will be held on 17th and 18th June 2010, in the UEA Drama Studio. The theme will be Vertical Restraints, and will look broadly at the subject, particularly how improved economic understanding can be translated into enforcement reality. More information, including how to book, will be on the website early 2010. Alternatively you can email the Communications Coordinator or call 01603 591616.

 

News Archive 2009

Research Associate's papers make SSRN top ten download list

CCP Research Associate and former PhD student Peter Ormosi has his two most recent working papers make the SSRN's top ten download list.
His paper entitled "Are All Mergers Equally Delay-Averse? An Empirical Analysis of Procedural Delay in European Commission Merger Cases (1999-2008)" was in the top ten in the Political Economy topic and "Determinants of the Success of Remedy Offers: Evidence from European Community Mergers" made the list in the Other Corporate Governance: Acquisitions, Mergers, Contests for Control, & Activism topic.

Centre Director to appear in Who's Who

Centre Director Catherine Waddams will appear in the 2010 edition of Who's Who.

Professor Waddams will have her own mini biography in the 162nd edition of the reference book.

She said: "I'm secretly pleased as my father was in it and I'm glad to carry on the family tradition. I think I was chosen because of my membership in the Competition Commission and involvement in policy discussion about regulation and competition."

Competition Analysis column - by Bruce Lyons

Has a new world of stable, competitive banking been created by recent announcements about Northern Rock, RBS and Lloyds?

Advice from CCP Deputy Director

The advice of Professor Bruce Lyons was in demand last month with invitations to three high-level policy workshops in London and Brussels.

At the beginning of the month Professor Lyons was the only academic economist participating in a HM Treasury workshop on the contribution of competition policy to productivity and growth. He was later one of four academic members of the Economic Advisory Group for Competition Policy chosen to advise the incoming Director General of DG Competition (European Commission) on priorities and the economic approach to competition issues.
Professor Lyons also took part in a day-long workshop at 10 Downing Street on 'Industrial activism, market regulation and the transition to a low carbon economy.

Competition Analysis column - Andreas Stephan

In just over a week, the Office of Fair Trading has imposed £130m in fines on 103 construction companies for bid-rigging and cover pricing, and £40m on six recruitment firms supplying the construction industry, for price-fixing and a collective boycott of an intermediary firm.

Read article

Andreas Stephan quoted in national media

Andreas Stephan was widely quoted in the media following the cover-pricing scandal that saw the OFT fine 103 construction companies for rigging bids for contracts. 

Unsteady course in move to end price fixing (Financial Times), Building companies are fined £103m for rigging bids (The Times) and OFT to fine construction firms millions over price fixing (Daily Telegraph)

CLEEN Workshop 14-15 May

CCP members dominated the programme in Tilburg at the CLEEN workshop of 2009. A number of them presented or chaired sessions at this two-day event.

Catherine Waddams, Felix Mezzanotte, Oindrila De, Pinar Akman, Sebastian Peyer, Christopher Wadlow and Morten Hviid featured in the programme.

Nationalise 'Zombie' banks to Save the Market Economy

Professor Bruce Lyons calls for temporary nationalisation of banks

Although government bailouts have saved many banks from collapse, they have not got them lending again on a sufficient scale. Nationalisation, claims Professor Lyons, is the only way to stop the recession biting even harder.

How has the recession affected competition policy?

In response to official confirmation on 23 January that Britain is in a period of economic recession, CCP has published a special edition of its Newsletter to assess the downturn from a competition policy perspective.

Lobbying Competition Law and Policy

Conference of E-Competitions EU Competition Law and Policy e-bulletin: 20 February.
A number of CCP members contribute to an online database of competition law and policy reviews which is run by the Institute of Competition Law. This organisation held a conference on Friday 20 February around the subject of lobbying competition law and policy.  For further details see here.

CCP Wins £4.3 million Funding

The Economic and Social Research Council has awarded the Centre for Competition Policy a further £4.3 million to continue its research until 2014.  Reports from independent reviewers confirmed that the Centre is becoming a leading international authority on Competition and Regulation Policy.  Our work will gain increasing importance as economies face the challenges of the current recession and an even more urgent need to make sure that markets work well for consumers and for society in general.  We look forward to continuing and developing relevant and rigorous academic research which can provide guidance to policy makers about appropriate regulation of commercial activity, encouraging competition and assisting consumers to make informed decisions.

News Archive 2008

ESRC Awards Graham Loomes Professorial Fellowship

CCP congratulates Professor Graham Loomes, of the School of Economics and CCP, who has been awarded a 3 year ESRC Professorial Fellowship.

This prestigious award was created to support groundbreaking research by up to 10 of the UK's top social scientists. Graham's proposal is titled "Modelling Imprecise Preferences and Identifying the Implications for Theory and Policy."

The ESRC Press Release

2008 CCP on the BBC

On Friday 5 December, BBC2's Money Programme investigated whether price comparison websites are a good or bad deal for consumers.  CCP's public events in the Forum, Norwich, contributed to the programme, which is reported on here.

A report on the events is featured in CCP's November Newsletter.

2008 BERR Report Published

A CCP team, led by Michael Harker, has completed an investigation of the UK consumer empowerment framework through a comparison with the frameworks in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. Commissioned by the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, the report is titled "Benchmarking the performance of the UK framework supporting consumer empowerment through comparison against relevant international comparator countries." The report is available on the BERR website at this link.

2008 CCP Members Out and About in September

In the weeks leading up to the start of the new semester, CCP members are usually busy attending conferences and giving papers.  Firat Cengiz, Michael Harker, Morten Hviid, Liza Lovdahl Gormsen and Kathryn Wright have just returned from Edinburgh, where Morten presented 'The Emerging Role of EU and Member State Courts as Institutions: Perspectives from Competition Law', Liza presented 'The Reform of the European Court of First Instance' and Kathryn presented 'Judicial Scrutiny of Merger Decisions in the EC, UK and Germany: Comparative Perspectives' at the UACES Annual Conference (University Association for Contemporary European Studies).  Andreas Stephan heads to Haifa, Israel on 24 September to present 'The Direct Settlement in EC Cartel Cases' to the 25th Annual Conference of EALE (European Association of Law and Economics).  Zhijun Chen, Luke Garrod and Bruce Lyons attended EARIE's (European Association for Research in Industrial Economics) 35th Annual Conference in Toulouse, France; Zhijun presented 'Cartel Organisation and Antitrust Enforcement' (working paper here), and Luke and Bruce presented 'An Econometric Test of Bargaining Theory: Early Agreement of Remedies in EC Merger Regulation', joint with Andrei Medvedev.

2008 Congregation

On 16 July a number of CCP members, students and associates graduated at UEA.

Among the law crowd were Dr Pinar Akman and Dr Andreas Stephan, now lecturers in the UEA Law School; Sebastian Peyer, who is now a PhD student at CCP; and a number of other LLM students from 2006-2007.  Also graduating was Dr Luke Garrod, now a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at CCP. 

2008 CCP in the News

Professor Catherine Waddams was interviewed last week by the BBC for her work with Dr Chris Wilson on consumer's switching habits. 

Click here for the BBC website page featuring the news item.

2008 ACLE Amsterdam Workshop

A number of our members are presenting papers at the Amsterdam Centre for Law and Economics (ACLE) 4th Annual Competition and Regulation Meeting: EC Competition Enforcement Data Workshop.

The programme features from CCP Oindrila De, Bruce Lyons, Matt Olczak, Peter Ormosi and Andreas Stephan.

ACLE is part of the CLEEN Network and links with ACLE members will be strengthened at this workshop.

2008 Forum Event: Choosing the Best Energy Deal for You

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 08, CCP is holding two events, on March 13 and 15, to help domestic energy consumers find the best gas and electricity suppliers for them.

See the flyer and the press release for this event.

Any member of the public interested in finding out whether they can save money on their household bills should come along to the Forum, bringing their bills with them, between 12pm and 8pm on Thursday 13 March, and between 9am and 5pm on Saturday 15 March.

2008 DG COMP Public Consultation

Andreas Stephan has had a paper published as part of DG COMP's recent public consultation on cartels settlements.

Entitled 'The Direct Settlement of EC Cartel Cases', the paper is available here.

2008 New Book by CCP Faculty

The book Mergers and Merger Remedies in the EU by Bruce Lyons and Stephen Davies is now available here.

2008 CCP features on the Anglia Late Edition

Professor Catherine Waddams was interviewed about rising energy prices for a programme on Anglia TV, entitled 'The Late Edition'.  Professor Waddams' comments sparked debate between regional MPs on the future of energy policy.  The show was aired on 31 January, on ITV at 11.35pm.

News pre-2008

2007 Bonn Workshop

On 6-7 December, CCP members attended a workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, which was the first workshop held as part of the recently-formed Network of European law and economics centres.  It was a great success: CCP members returned with glowing reports of the value of being able to interact with other centres' representatives and look forward to repeated events.  

2007 Frode Steen to Visit CCP

From Monday 12 November to Friday 16 November CCP played host to Professor Frode Steen from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. 

During his stay Frode met various CCP members to discuss their shared research interests.

His visit culminated in him giving a presentation as part of the Seminar Series on the Friday, entitled "Gasoline Prices Jump Every Monday: an Outcome of Aggressive Pricing?"

2007 Visitors to CCP

From Friday 2 November to Wednesday 7 November CCP hosted the visit of Stephen Wilks, Professor of Politics from the University of Exeter.  During his stay Professor Wilks gave a seminar and engaged members in a number of one-to-one and group discussions on various themes.

On Wednesday 7 November CCP will host another visitor, Dr Robert Hudson from Leeds University, who will be discussing behavioural finance with CCP members following his seminar in the Norwich Business School. 

2007 ESRC Recognition

The Centre for Competition Policy recently received recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council as a "+3" training outlet for doctoral students.  We are delighted to have received this acknowledgement of the quality of the research training offered by the Centre, where we see training the next generation of competition and regulation policy as central to our role.

2007 CCP Wins Three Contracts

CCP wins two contracts with the OFT:

Activating Consumers: Consumers play a key role in activating competition and making markets work well. However, the role that consumers play is sometimes limited by their lack of information about products, their substitutes and complements, an inability to process the available information effectively and 'bounded' rationality. In addition, a number of identified behavioural 'biases' may take different views on matters such as risk and time preference from the standard economic model. CCP has been awarded the contract to undertake this research for the OFT, the aim of which is to summarise existing economic theory and empirical evidence underlying consumer remedies. 

Productivity: The purpose of this project is to examine, through case study, the impact of an anti-trust intervention on productivity. It relates to the abolition, in the late 1990s, of the Net Book Agreement (NBA). The NBA was a form of RPM (Resale Price Maintenance), which had existed amongst UK publishers since the early 1990s, designed to artificially constrain the retail prices of books by preventing any bookseller from selling a book at a price under the publisher's chosen price. The project, commissioned by the OFT, will evaluate the impact of abolition on productivity using panel data within the UK and international comparator countries, where RPM on books remains.

And a third with BERR:

Consumer Empowerment: This project, undertaken on behalf of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), intends to benchmark the performance of the UK framework supporting consumer empowerment through comparison against relevant international comparator companies. It will also investigate market outcomes and the key impediments to consumer empowerment.

2007 Welcome to New Members

CCP welcomes two new members this month: Judith Mehta, who joins us on a part-time basis as Research Coordinator, and Hieu Tran, full-time Research Associate for six months.  We look forward to working with them both.

2007 Price-Fixing Developments

As BA are fined a record £121.5m by the OFT for surcharge price-fixing, allegations of price-fixing are occurring a lot closer to home.  As part of a three-year nationwide investigation by the OFT into alleged bid-rigging by construction companies, it has emerged that Norfolk-based builders RG Carter, Mansell Construction Services and Keir Eastern are being investigated.

CCP members Luke Garrod and Andreas Stephan have recently published research in this area - Luke's work examines the effects of surcharges on consumers, and Andreas's work details the results of a survey which gauges public opinion towards price-fixing.

2007 Graduations

Last week we saw five CCP PhD students don their gowns for graduation.  Congratulations to all five on their success:

Andrew Bugg (Economics) Nicola Mazzarotto (Economics) Khac Pham (Management) Chris Pike (Economics) Chris Wilson (Economics)

2007 Greg Shaffer Visit

Last week we said goodbye to Greg Shaffer, who spent six weeks at CCP again this summer to work closely with members on buyer power.  Greg attended our Annual Conference while he was here, and spent some time brainstorming with various members and PhD students.  We look forward to continued links with Greg in the future.

2007 Is your Marketing Manager Breaking Competition Law?

Marketing personnel may cause most of the UK's competition law offences.  Recent research has discovered that in the majority of anti-competitive markets investigated by the UK Competition Commissions, anti-competitive behaviours are closely linked to the firm's marketing decisions.

2007 Spoiled by Choice?

Initial optimism about the positive effects of competition in newly opened utility markets has been partly spoiled by many consumers not playing a textbook economics role.  Despite the energy regulator celebrating the fact that four million customers switched suppliers in 2006, results from the CCP suggest that many of these consumers may have actually made themselves worse off as a result.

2007 Project 5 Visitors from Turkey

From Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 March the Centre welcomed back Necmi Bagdadioglu from Turkey, who arrived with his colleague Necmi Odyakmaz to discuss the imminent liberalisation of the SEE electricity market and its implications for Turkey.  Necmi Bagdadioglu is Associate Professor in the Department of Public Finance at Hacettepe University, and Necmi Odyakmaz is from the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority.

They presented some engaging research on the current situation in Turkey and provoked much discussion throughout the Centre during their stay.

Necmi (Bagdadioglu) was a Visiting Fellow at CCP on a Jean Monnet scholarship for 1 year from September 2005 to September 2006.

2007 Electricity Reform Project Visits

Throughout March the Centre has welcomed visits on Wednesdays from representatives of countries of South East Europe, who have given presentations on electricity reform in their countries.  On 7 March CCP hosted Greece's representative, Katerina Iliadou, of the University of Athens and a Legal Advisor at the Public Power Corporation 8A.  Katerina gave an engaging presentation and provoked much debate afterwards.  The following week, on 14 March, Jelena Zoric and Nevenka Hrovatin from the University of Ljubjlana presented on Slovenia's current situation.  The week after, on 21 March, Michael Pollitt from the University of Cambridge visited the Centre to give a talk on the theme of regulatory institutions. 

2007 Visit from Kati Cseres, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Amsterdam

Kati Cseres' visit to the Centre from the University of Amsterdam involved general and one-to-one discussions with various CCP members on the subject of competition law and consumer protection, and culminated in her presenting a paper as part of the CCP Seminar Series.  We look forward to continued future links with Kati, as well as the possibility of further visits and joint research. 

To view Kati's homepage, click here.

2007 PhD Awarded To Khac Pham

We are pleased to announce that Pham's PhD has now been awarded, and would like to offer our congratulations.

Pham will be continuing with the Centre as a researcher until further notice.

2007 Croatian Visit to CCP

As part of the research into South Eastern Europe Electricity Reform (under Project 5), the Centre last week welcomed some representatives from Croatia: Desa Mlikotin Tomic, a Professor at the University of Zagreb, Mirna Pavletic Zupic, a member of the Croatian Competition Council, and Hana Horak from the University of Zagreb.  While here they gave some presentations on their domestic situation with regards electricity supply. 

2007 Posthumous PhD Awarded to Heather Coles

written by Steve Davies

Heather Coles died tragically in a swimming accident on 5th June 2005.  Heather was a highly talented student and, in my opinion, she was within 6-12 months of successfully completing her PhD thesis.  I am therefore pleased to announce that the decision has been made to posthumously award Heather her PhD.

I miss her deeply, as do my colleagues and her fellow students in the Centre for Competition Policy and the School of Economics.  She was not only a person of considerable academic potential, she was also a close friend, with a wonderful joie de vivre, considerable charm, and, above all, great sensitivity and humanity. 

2007 CCP Appoints New Post Docs

Following a very strong field of applications, CCP is pleased to announce the appointment of two Post Doctoral Research Fellows:

Liza Lovdahl Gormsen is planning to join the Centre in September.  She is currently working at the OFT and is completing her PhD on 'Article 82: Origin, Modernisation and Implications' at King's College, London.

Zhijun Chen plans to join CCP in June.  He completed his PhD on 'Fighting Collusion in Mechanism Design: Theory and Applications' at the University of Toulouse last year, and is currently working in China in Zhejiang University's School of Economics.

They will both bring valuable new perspectives to the Centre, and we look forward to welcoming them later in the year and working with them.

2006 Two Month Visit for CCP Associate

We say goodbye to CCP Associate Greg Shaffer, a professor of Economics and Strategy at the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, who visited CCP for two months this Spring. During his stay he met with CCP members for discussions on the role of low-price guarantees and most-favoured customer clauses in facilitating tacit collusion, and on the welfare effects of buyer power in vertical markets and mergers. He also gave a seminar on exclusionary discounts in input markets, met with PhD students, and contributed to the Buyer Power week.

2006 Student Successes

The CCP would like to congratulate three of its students and one postdoctoral research fellow on their recent successes:

Chris Pike is close to finishing his PhD and started as an assistant economist at the Competition Commission in May.

Chris Wilson is close to finishing his PhD thesis and is due to start an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford under Sir John Vickers in October, where he will be continuing his research into the effects of Consumer Protection Policy on competition.

Vinh Sum Chau's PhD is also confirmed. Vinh will be staying on at UEA as a researcher in MGT.

Andrei Medvedev successfully defended his thesis recently and is continuing research at the CCP.

Congratulations to all four and good luck for the future!

2006 Joe Farrell visit from Berkeley

Joe Farrell, a member of CCP's academic committee and Professor of Economics at University of California, Berkley, visited the CCP on 30 May for a series of discussions with Centre members. Topics discussed included merger remedy negotiation, new behavioural IO and strategic objectives for a competition authority. As part of his visit Joe also gave a seminar on Efficiency and Competition Between Payment Instruments.

2006 Peter Freeman Visit

The Chairman of the Competition Commission, Peter Freeman, visited CCP on March 22nd. Mr Freeman joined CCP members for tea and an informative and interesting discussion on current issues in competition policy. He then went on to give a lecture entitled: "Competition Law and Economics: Partnership of Equals or Struggle for Supremacy?" The lecture was the third in the Norwich Law School's Public Lecture Series. For the full text of Mr Freeman's lecture click here.

2006 Russell Pittman Visits CCP

The Director of Economic Research and International Technical Assistance Economic Analysis Group Antitrust Division at the US Department of Justice, Russell Pitman, is visiting CCP. During his stay he will meet with CCP members for discussions on their research particularly on South East Europe electricity, attend the London launch of the new book on Merger Control by CCP members Andrew Scott, Morten Hviid and Bruce Lyons and give a seminar on restructuring of the Russian railway and electricity sectors.

2006 CCP Members Complete Major new Book on Merger Control

CCP members Professor Morten Hviid, Professor Bruce Lyons and Dr Andrew Scott have recently completed a comprehensive new work entitled 'Merger Control in the United Kingdom'.

The 600 page book, will be published by Oxford University Press in December. It combines in depth coverage of the law, architecture and procedure of UK merger control, practical advice on shaping and preparing transactions while minimising regulatory risk and expert economic commentary presented in an accessible manner for a non-specialist readership.

More details here. 

2005 Two New Researchers for CCP

CCP has strengthened its research team with the addition of two new members who joined at the beginning of September.

Andrei Medvedev takes up a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow position having joined CCP from the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education, Charles University, Prague, where he was a PhD student. His research interests are merger regulation, industrial economics and game theory.

Professor Necmiddin Bagdadioglu has taken up a one year post under the Jean Monnet scholarship programme. He joins CCP from the Department of Public Finance at Hacettepe University in Turkey. His research at CCP will focus on European Union energy policy and the integration of the Turkish energy market with the European energy market. 

2005 Media Mergers Study

CCP has won funding to undertake a study into the assessment of media mergers on behalf of the Irish Competition Authority.

The aim of the study is to develop an analytical framework for such assessments under Irish competition law, in the context of concepts such as media diversity and pluralism. Members of CCP taking part in the study will be Pinar Akman, Dr Alexia Gaudeul, Professor Bruce Lyons and Dr Andrew Scott.

2005 Sir Derek Morris Addresses CCP

Former Chairman of the Competition Commission, Sir Derek Morris, gave a presentation to members of CCP on July 14th. Sir Derek was in Norwich to receive an honorary doctorate of civil law from the University of East Anglia, but prior to receiving it he visited CCP to give a presentation entitled 'Institutions, Law and Economics in Anti-Trust: The UK in International Context.'

2005 Heather Coles

It was with profound shock and sadness that all at the Centre for Competition Policy learned of the tragic death of CCP PhD student Heather Coles who drowned while swimming off the Irish coast on June 5th.

Heather was a popular and highly talented student who was just a few months away from completing her thesis. She had a tremendous passion for life and had a wide range of sporting and other interests outside academia. She was engaged to be married only last month.

Heather will be deeply missed by all her friends and colleagues at CCP and our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.

2005 University of California Duo Visit CCP

Professors Meghan Busse and Florian Zettelmeyer, both of the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley will be visiting CCP from 16 to 26 May.

Whilst at CCP they will give three seminars, one to CCP, one joint between CCP and the School of Economics and another jointly between CCP and the School of Management.

2005 Peter Mollgaard Visits CCP

Professor Peter Møllgaard, Head of the Economics Department at the Copenhagen Business School, has joined CCP as a visiting scholar for a one month period.

Peter, who is an associate member of CCP, will work with Professor Morten Hviid on a paper on countervailing power and transparency during his stay. Whilst at CCP he is also working on a chapter on Information Exchange, Market Transparency and Dynamic Oligopoly for a new book, Issues in Competition Law and Policy, to be published by the American Bar Association.

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