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; King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law
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
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
Date posted: July 17, 2012 ; Last revised: November 3, 2014