Archive for category 1. Topics

Joining Forces to Fight Cartels

Integrating Regulatory and Antitrust Powers: Implications for the Fight Against Cartels” by Juan Delgado and Elisa Mariscal

Published in The Fight against Hard Core Cartels in Europe: Trends, Challenges and Best International Practices (José María Beneyto and Jerónimo Maillo, eds.). Bruylant, 2016.

There are a wide variety of possible structures and institutions for regulatory and antitrust enforcers. This chapter focuses on the analysis of multi-purpose regulators that combine regulatory and antitrust powers, such as the Mexican IFT and Cofece, as well as the Spanish CNMC. We focus on the analysis of how institutional design affects the fight against cartels. The goal of the chapter is to look for evidence on whether some institutional designs are more effective to fight against cartels and to identify which institutional factors are determinant to improve such effectiveness.

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Please, more Expost Evaluation in Antitrust

Why ex-post evaluation is so important (and so little used) in antitrust, by Juan Delgado and Héctor Otero

CPI Antitrust Chronicle, Spring 2016, Volume 1 Number 1

This article explores why the ex-post analysis of antitrust and mergers decisions is important, how it can be performed and what the obstacles to the implementation of ex-post evaluation programs are. The ex-post analysis of competition policy is essential in order to evaluate the extent to which competition policy is being useful to society. Despite the fact that the role of competition policy has become increasingly important throughout the world and the number of competition authorities has grown exponentially, there is still little evidence of the consequences of such phenomena and the extent to which competition policy and Competition Authorities are ultimately helping and benefiting consumers.

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A Methodology for Expost Evaluation in Antitrust

Assessment of antitrust agencies’ impact and performance: an analytical framework”, Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, 2016, by J. Delgado, H. Otero and E. Pérez-Asenjo.

The assessment of antitrust agencies’ impact and performance serves three goals: first, to assess how well competition agencies have done their job; secondly, to help to correct their future strategy and to improve the allocation of limited resources, and finally, to respond to the need for accountability of public agencies. We propose an analytical framework to evaluate the impact of the interventions of antitrust agencies (eg infringement decisions, merger control decisions, advocacy work, etc.). The framework proposed combines comprehensiveness (including all activities by agencies) and simplicity (through a number of synthetic indicators). The framework classifies interventions according to their nature and impact measurability and proposes activity, relevance, and impact indicators to assess agencies’ performance.

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Who Cares about Pro-competitive Regulation in the EU

The Quest for Pro-Competitive Regulation in the EU: Who Cares?, by Juan Delgado and Héctor Otero.

Competition Policy International. Europe Column.

The removal of obstacles to competition, especially in highly regulated markets, and the design of procompetitive regulations in response to new market dynamics are essential to mobilize resources and unlock the potential of Europe’s economy. The lack of appropriate policy tools by European institutions and the lack of incentives by national governments, often dominated by vested interests, might prevent the further development of competitive markets in the EU. Increasing governments accountability and consumer awareness on the benefits from competition are ways to make progress in this direction. The empowering of competition authorities to conduct market investigations and to supervise ex-ante the impact of regulations on competition; and the wider use of properly designed public consultation mechanisms provide incentives to governments and legislators to incorporate competition concerns in the regulatory process.

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Restructuring Spanish Regulators

CNMC: The Story of an Unfinished Reform (“La CNMC: la historia de una reforma inacabada), by Juan Delgado and Héctor Otero. PAPELES DE ECONOMÍA ESPAÑOLA. Regulación y política de defensa de la competencia en España; no. 135. September 2015.

Entry blog (In Spanish): La CNMC: Historia de una Reforma InacabadafuncasBlog, 25 September 2015.

In 2012, the Spanish government proposed the merger of the antitrust authority together with six sectoral regulators in a single authority, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC). The reform was justified by the need for better coordination between regulators, to improve the consistency of their respective decisions and to reduce their operational costs. The design of the new institution however does not necessarily guarantee that those potential benefits will be materialized. Improving decision-making mechanisms, creating a more horizontal organization and strengthening the financial and functional autonomy of the regulator would facilitate the generation of synergies that so far do not seem to have arisen.

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Competition in the Supermarket Sector in Latin America

Market Structure, Growth and Competition in the Supermarket Sector in Latin America, by Juan Delgado. Background note for Session III of the 13th meeting of the OECD-IDB Latin American Competition Forum on 23-24 September 2015 in Jamaica. September 2015.

Op-ed: Competition in the Supermarket Sector in Latin America. Competition Policy International. Latin America Column. 26 October 2015.

Supermarkets play a limited but increasingly important role in Latin-America groceries retail markets. Traditional grocery retailers still play a substantial role in most Latin American countries and the penetration of supermarkets is still behind the developed countries. Paradoxically, within the supermarkets sector, concentration is high and a small number of large players are present in several countries. As personal income increases, the size of the middle class grows and the logistics and transport infrastructure develops, supermarkets are expected to expand further becoming the main gatekeeper for most grocery products. As supermarkets penetration increases, there is generally a process of transfer of market power from manufacturers and producers to retailers. In Latin America, producers and manufacturers still have substantial market power (and, consequently, bargaining power) in several product markets. However, recent cases and commercial practices show that such bargaining power is eroding in favour of large supermarket chains, changing the competitive dynamics of retail markets.

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Power Markets Design

Diseño de Mercados Eléctricos (Power Market Design), by Juan Delgado

Published in “Tecnología, Economía y Regulación en el Sector Energético”. C. Aranzadi and C. López,  (eds.). Academia Europea de Ciencias y Artes/European Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2015.

Starting in the late 80s , the power sector has evolved from a vertically integrated structure, controlled by heavily regulated monopolists, to an unbundled scheme combining liberalized and regulated activities. Given the physical characteristics of electricity, markets do not arise naturally. The creation of power markets relies heavily on the design of the institutional framework and, in particular, the design of (wholesale and retail) markets, the regulation of access to networks and the nature and functions of the system operator. There is not a unique optimal market design. The solutions adopted in different countries differ in several dimensions such as the degree of centralization of wholesale markets, the role of the system operator and the ability of consumers to choose their supplier. These dimensions determine different wholesale and retail electricity market designs .

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