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Competition Agencies with Complex Policy Portfolios: Divide or Conquer?


David A. Hyman


University of Illinois College of Law

William E. Kovacic


George Washington University - Law School

February 20, 2013

Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LE12-14
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-70
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-70

Abstract:     
Antitrust law has been adopted by 120 jurisdictions worldwide. In more than half of these jurisdictions, the agency charged with enforcing antitrust law also has other responsibilities. The assignment of multiple regulatory tasks can affect the performance of a competition agency in complex and subtle ways. We present a framework for analyzing the consequences of creating public bodies with complex policy portfolios. Using examples from across the administrative state, we analyze the forces that shape the content of an agency’s policy duties, and how the portfolio of assigned duties affects the way an agency approaches its assigned tasks, and its performance of those tasks. We apply this framework to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, whose diversified policy portfolio includes antitrust, consumer protection, and data protection/privacy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: agency design, reorganization, bureaucracy, antitrust, competition law

JEL Classification: D73, K22

working papers series


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Date posted: July 17, 2012 ; Last revised: March 3, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hyman, David A. and Kovacic, William E., Competition Agencies with Complex Policy Portfolios: Divide or Conquer? (February 20, 2013). Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LE12-14; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-70; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-70. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2110351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2110351

Contact Information

David A. Hyman (Contact Author)
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
William E. Kovacic
George Washington University - Law School ( email )
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.8123 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.aspx?id=1731

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