INTERVIEW : EUROPEAN SCHOOL - POLITIQUE DE CONCURRENCE - ANTITRUST

Doris HILDEBRAND, EE&MC: The emergence of the European School

1. In the first edition of your book, you called for the development of a “Brussels School”, a school of economic thought which would take into account the specifically European policy goals bearing on competition law enforcement, such as market integration, but also the pursuit of a “social market economy” as the treaty now states. Ten years and two editions later, how do you see the development of a European School? Would you say it has taken hold? Have economists been up to the challenging task of thinking about competition in a multi-goal policy framework, or do most economic works still make unrealistic hypotheses as to policy goals?

2. In your perception, what are the crucial differences today between US antitrust and EU competition law policies?

3. Twenty years ago, it seemed the US antitrust revolution had much to teach EU (then EC) competition law . Nowadays, do you think that influence is still flowing only one way or do you feel that European ideas cross the Atlantic? In particular, do you think the European attention to unilateral conduct is capable of inspiring US doctrine and/or enforcement practices?

4. In terms of economic theory and in practice, would you say the differences between the Harvard and Chicago Schools is a thing of the past? In the US, there seems to be a sense that some convergence is taking place. H. Hovenkamp, for example, writes “in the last twenty years, the Harvard School has moved rightward, closer to the Chicago position, while at least some Chicago School members have moderated their position to the left” . Do you agree? How do you view the European School in comparison to this “third way” between Harvard and Chicago?

5. What do you think was the driving force behind the move of the Commission towards an “effects-based approach”? How much of it was economic tools becoming more usable and allowing for this new approach to be implemented? How much of it was effective self-promotion on the part of economists?

6. In your perception, has the use of economic tools in EU cases changed over the past years, say since you opened your own economic consultancy? Would you say there is still a gap between merger and antitrust cases? Do you think abuse cases are still the last “steam-powered train” in terms of use of economics?

7. In your perception, taking into account the national systems you are familiar with, is economics being used differently at EU and at national levels?

Interview conducted by Anne-Lise Sibony, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, et Jean-Christophe Roda Université d’Aix-Marseille, France.

Since 1992 Managing partner of European Economic & Marketing Consultants – EE&MC GmbH, in Bonn, Brussels and Vienna. Member of the ICC Commission on Competition, the IBA and the editorial board of World Competition. 1989-1992 Researcher at the Department of Economics, Harvard University. 1987-1990 Master’s degree and Ph.D. in social and economic sciences, University of Economics in Vienna. Doris Hildebrand, your book The Role of Economic Analysis in the EC Competition Rules – The European School is a landmark for European competition law scholars and practitioners. It is one of the few books that examine both the theoretical and practical integration of economic input in competition law practice. In the first edition of your book, you called for the development of a “Brussels

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  • European Economic & Marketing Consultants (EE&MC)

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Doris Hildebrand, Doris HILDEBRAND, EE&MC: The emergence of the European School, May 2012, Concurrences Review N° 2-2012, Art. N° 45431, pp. 4-8

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