The work and analyses produced by E.CA is widely recognised and discussed by renowned newspapers and broadcasters. Please scroll through the following list to explore recent coverage and relevant firm news.

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New E.CA study on the methodology for assessing overcompensation of public services in the German bus sector.

The study on behalf of DB Regio AG (Sparte Bus) identifies aspects which can determine the level of the appropriate return for bus companies receiving public service compensation. Furthermore, the study estimates the appropriate return levels on the basis of publicly available revenue data for the bus sector.

Read the study here.

The distribution of partnership returns: Evidence from co-authorships in economics journals
Thomas Hildebrand and Francis Bidault published a study in the Journal of Research Policy of July 2014. The distribution of partnership returns: Evidence from co-authorships in economics journals. The study focusses on duos of co-authors in economics with asymetric background.

View the external abastract here.

Commission approves acquisition of Cemex West by Holcim in the building materials sector

After an in-depth investigation over concerns that the proposed transaction could substantially lessen competition by removing Cemex West as an actual or potential competitor in parts of Germany and in Belgium, the transaction was finally approved without remedies. E.CA Economics supported the parties in this matter.

Download press release.

UK synthetic rubber cartel case closed with settlement

Hans W. Friederiszick acted as an economic expert in the UK proceedings regarding private damages claims related to the EU synthetic rubber cartel case. He acted for a claimants group of leading European tyre manufactures and was supported by economists from E.CA Economics and Bates White Economic Consulting. The case was recently closed by settlement. The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.

German Court awards FLUXX 11.5 Mio Euro damages plus interests

The Mybet subsidiary FLUXX, then operating under the name Jaxx, had invented a new business model to distribute lottery tips. FLUXX planned to collect lottery tips at supermarkets, and to convey these to the state lottery companies. The state lottery companies, however, coordinated to refuse such orders collected by commercial agents.

After the Highest German Court (BGH) considered the boycott as illegal cartel infringement in 2008, FLUXX, supported by the law firm Redeker Sellner Dahs and E.CA Economics claimed damages for being excluded from the market. In a judgement by the OLG Düsseldorf dated April 9, 2014, a compensation of 11,5 Mio EUR plus interests was awarded to FLUXX. While an appeal on points of law is excluded the parties still can appeal against denial of leave to appeal.

Article published in the 2014 GCR Handbook of Competition Economics

E.CA contributed to the 2014 GCR Handbook of Competition Economics with a country section on Germany. The article provides an overview of the developments and enforcement output in Germany. It discusses the 8th Amendment to German competition law with regard to the significant impediment of effective competition (SIEC) test and the role of market shares. The article identifies Germany as one of the preferred jurisdictions for private litigation action within Europe, and predicts – due to recent case law - a richer set of economic tools being used. Finally it discusses recent cases pricing and distribution restraints.

The article is available here.

New publication on the competitive effects of exclusive dealing contracts

E.CA staff member Linda Gratz published a paper on the competitive effects of exclusive dealing contracts jointly with Markus Reisinger (WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management) in the International Journal of Industrial Economics. Antitrust scholars have argued that exclusive dealing contracts have anticompetitive, or at best neutral effects, if no efficiencies are generated. In contrast, this paper shows that exclusive dealing contracts can have procompetitive effects, provided that buyers are imperfect downstream competitors and contract breach is feasible.

View the abstract here.

Pricing payment cards
Özlem Bedre-Defolie and Emilio Calvano published an article in the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 5(3): 206–231.

The external abstract can be viewed here.


Overcharge estimation carried out by E.CA confirmed by Highest German Court

Yesterday the Highest German Court (BGH) fully supported the judgment of the OLG Düsseldorf in the German cement cartel case. Lars-Hendrik Röller and Hans W. Friederiszick acted as court experts in quantifying the damages. The Court concluded "particularly the overcharge estimation of the higher regional court which was attacked by the appealing parties exhibits no legal errors" [Original in German "insbesondere die von den Rechtsbeschwerdeführern angegriffenen Mehrerlösschätzungen des Oberlandesgerichts sind rechtsfehlerfrei."] The court reduced the fines by 5% to compensate the parties for procedural delays.

Press release of the BGH

Press release of the BKartA

The judgment: Beschluss des Kartellsenats vom 26.2.2013 - KRB 20/12 -

Article on regional aid published in EStAL

Hans W. Friederiszick, Nicola Tosini

The Regional Aid Guidelines foresee specific screens for an in-depth assessment of Large Investment Projects (LIPs): an in-depth assessment is initiated if the market share of the aid beneficiary is above 25% or the investment results in a capacity expansion above 5% in a declining market. It is currently being discussed within the broader State Aid Modernization package and also due to a recent court ruling on the case Propapier whether these market screens should stay as they are. Based on a dataset of all LIP cases notified under the 2006 Regional Aid Guidelines, we evaluate those market screens and find that the screens do have the power to identify problematic cases – cases with a below average expected aid effectiveness and aid measures targeting specific industries. We also find, however, that the market screens are affected by a severe implementation problem and, hence, do not help to shorten phase I investigations. From a conceptual perspective, they are also not capable of identifying some of the potentially most problematic regional State aid cases. Policy options are discussed.

View the abstract here.