News

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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11.04.2013
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 -

05.03.2013
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.

10.01.2013
New publication on the Relevance of Efficiencies in Abuse of Dominance Cases

Hans W. Friederiszick, Linda Gratz

The European Commission’s policy on the relevance of efficiency considerations in abuse of dominance cases (Article 102 TFEU) has not been resolved satisfactorily. In an attempt to give guidance on this matter, we address the topic from two different angles: First, we review EC soft law provisions and recent decisions. Second, we explore – in the example of low price strategies – business practitioners’ views on the relevance of the pro and anti-competitive motives behind such strategies.

View the abstract here.

10.01.2013
E.CA Economics named in The Economics 20

E.CA Economics has again been named in The Economics 20 by the Global Competition Review as one of the world’s leading competition economics firms.

Since 2008, E.CA has been named consistently in this survey, which is a guide to the world’s leading economics consultancies that emphasizes the size of the firm’s practice, its reputation, an evaluation of work completed in the past year and the talent of individual economists.

For more information, please visit the GCR Website.

10.01.2013
Working paper published on upward pricing pressure (UPP) in two-sided markets.

Pauline Affeldt

E.CA staff member Pauline Affeldt published a working paper on upward pricing pressure (UPP) in two-sided markets jointly with Lapo Filistrucchi (Tilburg University) and Tobias Klein (Tilburg University). Upward pricing pressure indices have recently been proposed as screening devices for mergers in differentiated product industries. In this paper the one-sided UPP concept, originally presented by Farrell and Shapiro (2010), is extended to two-sided markets in which indirect network effects have to be taken into account. The derived formulas are then applied to a hypothetical merger in the Dutch daily newspaper market. The results indicate that taking the two-sidedness of the market correctly into account makes a difference when evaluating UPP.

View the abstract here.

31.08.2012
Best Conference Paper Award for Thomas Hildebrand (E.CA Economics), Jörg Rocholl (ESMT) and Alexander Schulz (Deutsche Bundesbank)

Thomas Hildebrand

E.CA Economics staff member Thomas Hildebrand received a Best Conference Paper Award from the European Finance Association (EFA) at its annual meeting held in Copenhagen on August 15-18, 2012.
The paper "Flight to Where ? Evidence from Bank Investments During the Financial Crisis" was co-authored by Jörg Rocholl (President of ESMT European School of Management and Technology) and Alexander Schulz (Deutsche Bundesbank).
The prize is the highest distinction of the conference.

Download the ESMT press release in EN and DE.

31.08.2012
Article published on network effects in two sided markets

Thomas Hildebrand

E.CA Economics staff member Thomas Hildebrand published an article on the estimation of network effects in two-sided markets in Economics Letters, a leading Economics journal. The antitrust economics of two-sided markets differ substantially from those of classical one-sided markets. Therefore, the question whether a market is two-sided or not is crucial for choosing adequate competition policy measures. However, answering this question is difficult because it typically requires complex data. The paper proposes an alternative, so-called “semi-structural” approach that makes it possible to identify and quantify network effects in two-sided markets without data on prices and quantities and without using instrumental variable techniques. Instead, only data on equilibrium revenue and on demand and/or cost shifters is required.

View the abstract here.

15.06.2012
New publication on owner effect and sunk investments

Ulrich Soltész, Christopher Milde, Rainer Nitsche

In state aid law, capital injections into public undertakings play an important role. In many cases such measures are being classified as State aid. Until today, only little attention has been paid to the "owner effect", according to which an investor who is already a shareholder increases the value of his existing shareholding by the injection of fresh capital. This article - an interdisciplinary joint product of two economists and a lawyer - examines this question.

View the abstract on the Europäische Zeitschriften für wirtschaftsrecht Journal.

26.05.2012
Vertical coordination through renegotiation

Özlem Bedre-Defolie published an article in the International Journal of Industrial Organization 30(6): 553-563.

The paper analyses the strategic use of bilateral supply contracts in sequential negotiations between one manufacturer and two differentiated retailers.

The external abstract can be viewed here.

25.01.2012
New publication on competition law in regulated industries by E.CA staff

Rainer Nitsche, Lars Wiethaus

In recent years, competition authorities have applied general competition rules in regulated industries, in addition to or instead of the regulation there in force. This raises issues as the two sets of rules are not necessarily identical and the authorities in charge of applying them do not always pursue the same objectives. This article proposes criteria helping to distinguish cases in which competition law is likely to be a more or less useful complement to regulation. As for cases in which competition law may, in principle, be useful, the authors argue for an intervention that accounts for the objectives set by regulation.

Read the publication on the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice website

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