OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy

  • Discontinued

This journal draws on the best of the recent work done for and by the OECD Committee on Competition Law and Policy. Its articles provide insight into the thinking a competition law enforcers, and focus on the practical application of competition law and policy. Here’s what Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission said about this new journal when it was launched: “Global competition is the wave of the future, and comparative analysis of the laws and practices of various members of the worldwide community of nations is a necessary corollary. This new OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy, compiled from OECD Round Table discussions, summaries of recent developments, and articles on topics of special interest, will introduce regulators, practitioners, and scholars to different regulatory approaches around the world and will allow us to consider in a more informed way the strengths and weaknesses of our own systems.”

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

English French

Portfolio Effects in Conglomerate Mergers

In the context of conglomerate merger review, portfolio effects seem to refer to the pro- and anti-competitive effects possibly arising when: the parties enjoy market power but not necessarily dominance; and the products joined are complementary or have analogous properties. When complementary products are merged, there is a potential for considerable synergies that could benefit buyers. There is also an increased potential for forced tying, pure bundling, or analogous practices (e.g. full line forcing) that could restrict buyer choice but also lower prices. Under certain strict conditions, consumers could gain in the short run but suffer long term harm from such practices if they eventually result in a sufficient reduction of competitors and capacity in a market. The hypothetical nature of such harm has led some to conclude that instead of prohibiting mergers having potentially harmful portfolio effects, competition agencies should instead take a wait and see attitude. That would involve using abuse of dominance or monopolisation prohibitions to control negative effects should they actually materialise.

English French

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