Competition law and economics. Developments, policies and enforcement trends in the US and Korea, Jay Pil CHOI, Wonhyuk LIM, Sang-Hyop LEE (dir.)

Jay Pil Choi, Wonhyuk Lim, Sang-Hyop Lee

This section selects books on themes related to competition laws and economics. This compilation does not attempt to be exhaustive but rather a survey of themes important in the area. The survey usually covers publication over the last three months after publication of the latest issue of Concurrences. Publishers, authors and editors are welcome to send books to catherine.prieto@univ-paris1.fr for review in this section.

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The collective work Competition Law and Economics .Developments, Policies and Enforcement Trends in the US and Korea, edited by Professors Choi, Lim and Lee, provides a new illustration of the scientific quality of the Korea Development Institute (KDI). The analysis, whose logical point of departure is South Korea, incorporates many American and Canadian illustrations. The scientific interest of this book goes beyond these geographical areas alone. While South Korea’s economic history has been particularly turbulent in recent decades with its rapid encounter with globalization, which is still materializing today with its powerful industrial groups, Korean public policies conducive to both investment to face international competition and economic concentration have left many traces in market structures despite the competition policies undertaken in recent years. Indeed, the shift from an economic policy that favours monopolies and cartelization of the economy in order to address globalization concerns to a new competition policy implemented by the Fair Trade Commission provides a subject for study that skillfully coordinates economic theory and empirical studies. Unsurprisingly, this book fully succeeds in achieving its high ambitions. The particularly rich and varied scientific support offers numerous practical illustrations and comparative analyses that are particularly stimulating for researchers and regulatory practitioners.

The second part thus provides a solid comparison of the assessment methods of the different competition authorities. The increase in the number of competition authorities in recent years has naturally led to difficulties in the implementation of the competition rules. Paradoxically, the rapid increase in international competition and the emergence of globalised economic markets may hinder the emergence of heterogeneous decision-making practices among regulators. Professor Choi’s study examines the economic consequences of the multiplicity of frameworks for implementing competition law, particularly for companies in a dominant position. At the same time, international competition affects the structure of national markets. According to the authors, the risks of inconsistencies between authorities lead inexorably to the emergence of forum shopping by multinationals. Such difficulties are moreover increased when national regulators include secondary policies in their analysis criteria. The study, without limiting itself to the findings alone, also proposes avenues for development centred mainly around the International Competition Network. It also offers, on the basis of comparative analyses of different decision-making practices, tools to enhance the effectiveness of market research, which is central to the development and overall success of competition policy. The book reminds us that thorough market research is an essential prerequisite for ensuring the effectiveness of regulation and considering possible ways of reforming it.

In the third part of the book on abuse of dominance, Yong Hyeon Yang discusses the prohibitions per se and the rule of reason. He convincingly proposes the implementation of a "structured rule of reason" mainly in the context of litigation relating to tied selling agreements. The objective is, for the author, to no longer resort to prohibitions per se and to embrace an in-depth and rigorous analysis of all the effects of the practices in question. This analysis must be based on all available data and the characteristics of the product markets for the products concerned by the agreements.

Less original, but just as relevant, the fourth part of the book discusses the changes to the 2010 US Horizontal Merger Guidelines. The ambitions and objectives of the reform are presented and clarified, and the authors also stress the need for competition authorities to make greater use of retrospective studies to improve their practices in this area.

Finally, in the fifth part, on vertical restraints, the various authors insist on a methodological qualification based on economic theory. They then carefully study the different types of vertical restraints by proposing theoretical models that are easily transposable to decision-making practice. The last chapter sheds new light, always valuable, on the complex issue of retail purchasing contracts, whose risks to competition, linked to the specific features of such contracts, are still insufficiently studied and modelled.

The richness of the contributions allows this book to clarify once again the importance of increasing exchanges between competition law, economics and the various competition authorities. The diversity of the analyses and proposals offered should satisfy all practitioners and researchers in the field of competition and regulatory law.

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Author

  • University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Quotation

Vincent Bridoux, Competition law and economics. Developments, policies and enforcement trends in the US and Korea, Jay Pil CHOI, Wonhyuk LIM, Sang-Hyop LEE (dir.), November 2020, Concurrences N° 4-2020, Art. N° 97384, p. 279

Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing, KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Date 16 April 2020

Number of pages 232

Visites 53

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