Preventing Anticompetitive Conduct Directly and Indirectly: Accuracy vs. Predictability

17 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2018 Last revised: 23 Mar 2019

See all articles by Jan Broulík

Jan Broulík

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Date Written: January 12, 2018

Abstract

This essay argues that economic evaluations of optimal antitrust rules ought to fully recognize antitrust predictability as a relevant factor. It discusses the differences between the direct and indirect mechanism of preventing anticompetitive conduct, and between the roles assumed by accuracy and predictability of antitrust adjudication within these mechanisms. While operation of the direct mechanism depends only on accuracy, the indirect mechanism in addition requires predictability to work well. Since a great majority of anticompetitive conduct is prevented indirectly rather than directly, predictability is indispensable for the overall effectiveness of antitrust. Consequently, economic evaluations of optimal antitrust rules need to search for the most effective attainable combination of accuracy and predictability, inevitably sacrificing some of the former for the sake of the latter in the process.

Keywords: antitrust enforcement; rule differentiation; prevention; deterrence; accuracy; error; predictability; certainty

JEL Classification: K21, K42, L40

Suggested Citation

Broulík, Jan, Preventing Anticompetitive Conduct Directly and Indirectly: Accuracy vs. Predictability (January 12, 2018). Antitrust Bulletin, 2019, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 115-127; TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2018-005; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 18-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3100778 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3100778

Jan Broulík (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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