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Competition Policy and the Control of Buyer Power

A Global Issue Peter C. Carstensen, Fred W & Vi Miller Chair in Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School, Senior Fellow, American Antitrust Institute, US
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the economic and competition policy issues that buyer power creates. Drawing on economic analysis and cases from around the world, it explains why conventional seller side standards and analyses do not provide an adequate framework for responding to the problems that buyer power can create. Based on evidence that abuse of buyer power is a serious problem for the competitive process, the book evaluates the potential for competition law to deal directly with the problems of abuse either through conventional competition law or special rules aimed at abusive conduct. The author also examines controls over buying groups and mergers as potentially more useful responses to risks created by undue buyer power.
Best Antitrust Book of 2017
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78254 057 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Competition Policy
  • Law - Academic
  • Competition and Antitrust Law
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the economic and competition policy issues that buyer power creates. Drawing on economic analysis and cases from around the world, it explains why conventional seller side standards and analyses do not provide an adequate framework for responding to the problems that buyer power can create. Based on evidence that abuse of buyer power is a serious problem for the competitive process, the book evaluates the potential for competition law to deal directly with the problems of abuse either through conventional competition law or special rules aimed at abusive conduct.

Peter C. Carstensen’s expert analysis uses the policy goal of preserving and protecting the competitive process as a guide, and evaluates competition law and policy found around the world for diverse perspectives. He identifies and evaluates controls beyond conventional competition rules and makes recommendations for competition policy, including focus on limiting the emergence of undue buyer power, strict controls limiting the size of legitimate buyer groups, prohibition in most instances of buyer cartels, and strict standards to bar mergers creating buyer power to provide a set of policies that can constrain the risks of undue buyer power.

Competition law scholars, competition law practitioners, staff of competition enforcement agencies, economists interested in competition policy, and agricultural economists interested in market systems will all find this book a strong resource.
‘In a lucid and thorough exploration of buyer power, Peter Carstensen persuasively illustrates the welfare effects and societal costs. He offers a detailed review of buyer power exploitation and the means to tackle it using ex-ante and ex-post intervention. This excellent contribution to the legal and policy debate highlights the prevalence of buyer power in many industries and markets, its potential abuse, and the likely costs of limited antitrust enforcement.’
– Ariel Ezrachi, The University of Oxford, UK

‘Which is more harmful to the competitive process—abuse of buyer power or seller power? Which is more difficult for enforcers to control? Are monopsonies the “mirror image” of monopolies? Professor Carstensen tackles these important questions in this much needed addition to an under-researched topic. A cogent, compelling analysis of why buyer power requires much more attention from competition authorities and policymakers generally than it has received.’
– Maurice E. Stucke, The University of Tennessee; of counsel, The Konkurrenz Group, US

‘In this excellent book Peter Carstensen gives buyer power the attention it deserves. Long relegated to a secondary role in antitrust analysis, buyer power is an important source of inefficiency, harm to competition, and exploitation. This book is an exceptionally comprehensive, incisive, and thoughtful treatment of the issue. And it could not be more timely.’
– John B. Kirkwood, Seattle University School of Law, US
Contents: Acknowledgements 1. Buyer Power: a Pervasive Challenge to Competition Policy 2. The Goals of Competition Policy 3. Buyer Power: Its Definition and Measurement 4. The Potential Competitive Harms from the Existence and Abuse of Buyer Power 5. Competition Policy for Unilateral Conduct by Buyers 6. Market Regulation and Other Strategies to Remedy Abuse of Buyer Power 7. Competition Policy for Buying Cartels, Buying Groups and Other Contractual Restraints Involving Buyer Power 8. Controlling the Creation of Buyer Power through Merger Policy 9. Conclusion: The Centrality of Market Structure and the Limits of National Authority Index