This seminar presents the building blocks of a forthcoming book by Professors Petit and Schrepel. The book proposes a new formula for competition law and policy.
There are today enough empirical observations showing that established models of competition policy do not apprehend the modern complexity of competition across firms, markets and industries. The lost diagnosis accuracy is a source of legal and policy error; an update in our understanding of how economic agents compete in a technology-driven environment is needed.
Grounded in empirics and in a review of the legal, economic, and technical literature on industrial change and innovation, the book proposes a “renaissance” of competition policy around several key propositions. In particular, Petit and Schrepel suggest that uncertainty, as much as rivalry, is key to competition, that innovation is an input equally important to competition as industry structure, or that firm and industry level evolution is a good metric for assessing the impact of antitrust law and policy. Finally, the seminar discusses adaptations to current antitrust institutions and procedures, and the appropriate scope of a complexity-minded antitrust policy
This intensive course seeks to lay the ground for the development of a more explicit theory of antitrust law. It studies antitrust laws’ principles of action (firm size, economic concentration, market power, etc.), function (rivalry, uncertainty), limits (error costs and division of labor), methods (facts and principles), metaphysics (a priori knowledge), epistemology (economics schools of thoughts), ontology (firm, market, coordinated and unilateral conduct, etc.), mobilization (private and public), legitimacy (expert and popular), norms (welfare, choice, justice), and remediation (prevention and restoration).
The course’s ambition is mostly descriptive. The point is to describe the anatomy, biology and behavior of our antitrust laws. The course assumes that it is intellectually useful to break down antitrust laws in ways that describe their structure and parts, mechanics and chemistry, and actual operation. In so doing, this intensive course seeks to show many versions of antitrust laws are possible, in ways far more diversified than the binary policy reform options often vindicated in the public conversation.
The focus is on US and EU antitrust laws.
- Thibault Schrepel ()
- Nicolas Petit (European University Institute)