FOREWORD: PUBLIC SECTOR - ACADEMICS - COMPETITION POLICY - TRANSPARENCY - CORPORATE FUNDING

Corporate funding for antitrust academics can be a problem

Corporate funding for academic articles raises the possibility of academic bias in favour of corporate views. This seems to be happening in many areas of law, science and policy, including competition law. While (almost) every idea deserves to be discussed, regardless of its origin or funding, corporate funding can create the false impression that some ideas are more prevalent than they really are. This reduces the quality of academic debate. We need better disclosure and awareness of this phenomenon. [1]

The topic of corporate funding for academic articles—and the possibility of academic bias—has been the subject of many recent press articles, blog posts, reports, and academic articles [2]. This debate is playing out on both sides of the Atlantic, mostly in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property, privacy, and internet regulation. Corporate funding has been linked to ethical issues in medical research, climate science, food safety and nutrition, financial regulation, and other fields. There is no reason to believe that antitrust law and economics are necessarily immune to such concerns. The response from some antitrust academics has been to make a series of arguments that are not particularly consistent with each other: (a) the funding does not matter, only the ideas and

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Cyril Ritter, Corporate funding for antitrust academics can be a problem, February 2018, Concurrences Review N° 1-2018, Art. N° 86396, www.concurrences.com

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