Competition Agencies with Complex Policy Portfolios: Divide or Conquer?

67 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012 Last revised: 3 Nov 2014

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University

William E. Kovacic

George Washington University - Law School; King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: February 20, 2013

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.

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

JEL Classification: D73, K22

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2110351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2110351

David A. Hyman (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
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

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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