About this webinar
The Icelandic Competition Authority invites you to a webinar with Jonathan B. Baker, keynote-speaker, and Fiona Scott Morton, Gylfi Magnússon, Lars Sørgard and Pierre Régibeau that will discuss who will discuss topics that are relevant to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such topics include anti-trust development in Europe and the US, national champions, and what effect the current economic crisis is likely to have on competition enforcement.
Moderator: Páll Gunnar Pálsson | Director General of the Icelandic Competition Authority
Jonathan B. Baker | Research Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law
National champions and competition policy
During previous economic downturns, countries have occasionally responded to the contraction with protectionism and lenient anti-trust enforcement. Even though experience has shown such actions to be harmful and counterproductive, the siren call for protectionism can be heard today.
A related matter is the renewed focus among some policymakers in the EU on the need that merger enforcement does not hinder the creation of “national champions” and even “global champions”. The main argument is that only such firms can compete in international markets. Some have argued that the application of EU competition law has been too focused on competition in Europe. In contrast, other countries such as the US, South Korea, Japan and China have seen the benefit of creating and fostering global champions.
A further topic is a discussion in the US, whether lax anti-trust enforcement has harmed consumers and businesses. A number of academics have stated that a reversal is needed to restore a competitive economy.
These issues will surely be important when policymakers begin to discuss, and design strategies to deal with the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Páll Gunnar Pálsson has been Director General of the Icelandic Competition Authority since 2005. Previously he has served as Director-General of the Financial Supervisory Authority and has worked in other areas of the public administration, in the field of industry, commerce and energy. He is a l...
Valur Þráinsson has serves as a Chief Economist at the Icelandic Competition Authority. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Economics at the University of Amsterdam with a special focus on IO, regulation and competition policy and a PG Diploma focused in EU Competition Law from King's College London.
Research Professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law. He has previously served as Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission and a Director of the Bureau of Economics at the FTC.
Gylfi Magnússon is an associate professor the University of Iceland. Dr. Magnússon served as Iceland’s Minister of Business/Economic Affairs from 2009 to 2010. He was the chair of the board of Iceland’s competition authority from 2005 until 2009.
Fiona M. Scott Morton area of academic research is empirical IO, with a focus on empirical studies of competition in areas such as pricing, entry, and product differentiation. From 2011-12 Professor Scott Morton served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics at the Antitrust Divisi...
Lars Sørgard serves as a Director General for Competition at the Norwegian Competition Authority, and prior to that its Chief Economist (2004-2007 and 2015-2016). Since 1998 he has been a professor at the Norwegian School of Economics.
Pierre areas of specialty include industrial organisation, with a special emphasis on technology-intensive industry and intellectual property rights and International Trade. In parallel to his academic career, Dr. Régibeau has been active in economic consulting landmark cases.
The Competition Authority is responsible for achieving the objectives of the Competition Act by opposing unreasonable barriers and restrictions on freedom in economic activities, harmful oligopolies and restriction of competition and by facilitating the entry of new competitors to the market.
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