Competition policy issues are now more prominent in the public debate than at any point in decades. The purpose of the Competition Policy RPN is to become a leading platform for the critical discussion of competition policy design and outcomes worldwide.
Academic research increasingly suggests that margins and concentration have been rising across the economy for over 40 years. The growing market power of giant digital platforms raises concerns about privacy and data protection, exploitation of consumers and small businesses, and foreclosure of smaller rivals. Issues such as algorithmic collusion, “killer acquisitions,” and common ownership are all rising in policy debates. While there is debate about the sources and consequences of these trends, there is a growing realisation that there has been underenforcement of competition law with respect to both merger control and abuse of dominant market positions, leading to multiple regulatory initiatives in the EU, US, UK, and Australia. Much remains to be done, including agreeing on guiding principles, specific rules, and implementation mechanisms, both in digital markets and beyond.
The purpose of the CEPR Competition Policy RPN is to become a leading platform for the critical discussion of competition policy design and outcomes worldwide. This is particularly important in an adversarial context like competition enforcement, where parties with “skin in the game” seek to shape the public debate by sponsoring research favourable to their point of view. The RPN seeks to create a network of academics and enforcers to evaluate both influential decisions and academic research, and generate practical guidance to promote better policymaking as well as more policy-relevant academic research.
Leadership of the RPN is supported by a Steering Committee: Cristina Caffarra (Keystone) (Vice-Chair), Tomaso Duso (DIW Berlin, TU Berlin and the Berlin Centre for Competition Policies (BCCP)), and Monika Schnitzer (LMU Munich and member of the German Council of Economic Experts).
The primary activity of the RPN is to organize workshops and conferences that bring together leading academics, enforcers, and policymakers to discuss topical policy questions in antitrust and regulation. It aims to create a bridge between the enforcers and policymakers facing practical policy questions and the academics with an interest in these questions.
The Competition Policy RPN will host several events, falling into two types. The first event type (“bottom-up”) brings together academics, practicing economists, and regulators to discuss the current thinking on specific topics of high contemporary policy interest. Relevant casework and academic papers are chosen to be presented and discussed in a format accessible to a policy audience. The insights from these events are later distilled into a CEPR Policy Brief, written by selected RPN members and academics to appeal to as broad a policy audience as possible, with the intention to foster better policymaking.
The second event type (“top-down”) brings to the table those shaping and implementing the competition policy agenda worldwide, including heads of competition agencies, politicians, and other thought leaders in the competition policy space.
Transparency in these discussions is important, therefore participation in any event organized by the CEPR Competition Policy RPN requires strict adherence to the disclosure policies.
Chair of Steering Committee
Tommaso Valletti, leader of the CEPR Competition Policy RPN, talks about his recent research on competition policy and looks at the relationship between market power and political power.
Chair: Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London and CEPR)
Benoit Coeuré (Autorité de la Concurrence)
Mar Réguant (Northwestern University, Barcelona School of Economics and CEPR)
Rod Sims (ANU)
Martin Watzinger (University of Münster and CEPR)