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George Mason University
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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Room
Founders Hall Auditorium

Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission held the third session of the Hearings initiative, an event co-sponsored with the Global Antitrust Institute and held at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, on October 15-17, 2018.

ommissioner Rohit Chopra opens the third FTC hearing
Commissioner Rohit Chopra speaks on the
opening day of the third FTC hearing

The three-day event examined the potential for collusive, exclusionary, and predatory conduct in multi-sided, technology-based platform industries.  The sessions also examined antitrust frameworks for evaluating acquisitions of nascent competitors or occurring in nascent markets, including in the technology and digital marketplace; and the approach to addressing antitrust issues regarding labor markets.

The Commission invites public comment on these issues, including, the questions listed below.

Multi-Sided Platforms (Oct. 15, 16, and 17):

  1. What are the defining characteristics of multi-sided platforms? Is there a way to distinguish between multi-sided and single-sided businesses? Are any adjustments to antitrust analysis necessary to account for any special characteristics of multi-sided businesses?
  2. How should the courts and agencies define relevant antitrust markets and measure market power for multi-sided platform businesses?
  3. What is the relevance of network effects (direct and indirect) in multi-sided platform markets?
  4. How should the courts and agencies evaluate exclusionary conduct by firms competing in multi-sided platform markets, including predatory pricing, vertical restraints, most-favored nation clauses, and actions to undermine rivals who depend on platform infrastructure?
  5. Are there unique procompetitive justifications for these types of conduct by firms competing in multi-sided platform markets?
  6. What is the relevant legal precedent for evaluating antitrust concerns related to multi-sided platform businesses?

Antitrust in Labor Markets (Oct. 16):

  1. Is a lack of competition among employers a significant contributor to observed macroeconomic trends in labor markets, such as the declining labor share and/or real wage stagnation? What are other explanations for these trends?
  2. How should the agencies approach defining relevant labor markets for purposes of antitrust analysis? What (if any) reliable evidence is available on the existence and effect of employer concentration in properly defined labor markets?
  3. Does available evidence suggest a causal relationship between employer concentration and labor market outcomes, such as wage?  Does this evidence suggest a change in antitrust enforcement is needed?
  4. Should the agencies and courts apply the consumer welfare standard to the analysis of monopsonistic labor markets in which firms are buyers and workers are sellers? 
  5. How should the agencies and courts resolve cases where evidence suggests output in the product market is likely to increase but employment and wages are likely to decline because of reduced competition in a properly defined labor market?

Acquisitions of Nascent and Potential Competitors in Digital Technology Markets (Oct. 17):

  1. What is the appropriate antitrust framework to evaluate acquisitions of potential or nascent competitors in high-technology markets?
  2. Is current antitrust law sufficient for developing challenges to these types of acquisitions?
  3. How should the antitrust agencies evaluate whether a nascent technology is likely to develop into a competitive threat in dynamic, high-technology markets?
  4. What are some pragmatic approaches that the antitrust enforcement agencies could consider for enhancing their evaluation of these types of acquisitions?

Disability accommodation

We welcome people with disabilities. The FTC will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at ekraszewski@ftc.gov or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. In addition, please allow at least five business days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.

  • Monday, October 15, 2018

    9:00-9:05 am

    Welcome and Introductory Remarks

    Henry N. Butler
    George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School

    9:05-9:20 am

    Welcome and Introductory Remarks

    Rohit Chopra, Commissioner
    Federal Trade Commission

    9:20-9:50 am

    The Economics of Multi-Sided Platforms

    David S. Evans
    Global Economics Group

    9:50-10:10 am

    Network Effects in Multi-Sided Platforms

    Catherine Tucker
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management

    10:10-10:20 am

    Break

    10:20-12:20 pm

    The Current Economic Understanding of Multi-Sided Platforms

    Participants:

    David S. Evans
    Global Economics Group

    Joseph Farrell
    University of California, Berkeley
    Department of Economics

    Marc S. Rysman
    Boston University,
    Department of Economics

    Michael A. Salinger
    Boston University,
    Questrom School of Business

    Katja Seim
    University of Pennsylvania,
    Wharton School

    Howard Shelanski
    Georgetown University Law Center
    Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

    Catherine Tucker
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management

    Moderator: John M. Yun
    George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School

    12:20-1:30 pm

    Lunch Break

    1:30-3:00 pm

     

     

     

    Multi-Sided Platforms in Action

    Participants:

    Elizabeth J. Altman
    University of Massachusetts Lowell,
    Manning School of Business

    Scott Kupor
    Andreessen Horowitz

    Roger McNamee
    Elevation Partners

    Steven Tadelis
    University of California, Berkeley,
    Haas School of Business

    Ben Thompson
    Stratechery, LLC

    Moderator: Jan Rybnicek
    George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School
    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

    3:00-3:15 pm

    Break

    3:15-5:00 pm

    Defining Relevant Markets and Establishing Market Power in Cases Involving Multi-Sided Platforms

    Participants:

    Tasneem Chipty
    Matrix Economics, LLP

    Eric Citron
    Goldstein & Russell, P.C.

    Joseph Farrell
    University of California, Berkeley
    Department of Economics

    Michael A. Salinger
    Boston University,
    Questrom School of Business

    Joanna Tsai
    Charles River Associates

    Darren Tucker
    Vinson & Elkins LLP

    Moderator: Daniel Francis
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition

    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    9:00-9:15 am

    Welcome

    9:15-9:40 am

    Opening Address

    Alan B. Krueger
    Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs

    9:40-11:25 am

    Economic Evidence of Labor Market Monopsony

    Participants:

    Matthias Kehrig
    Duke University,
    Department of Economics

    Alan B. Krueger
    Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs

    Ioana E. Marinescu
    University of Pennsylvania,
    School of Social Policy & Practice

    Nancy L. Rose
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics

    Robert H. Topel
    University of Chicago,
    Booth School of Business

    Moderators:

    Devesh Raval
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics

    Jeremy Sandford
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics

    11:25-11:35 am

    Break

    11:35-1:00 pm

     

     

     

    Labor Markets and Antitrust Policy

    Participants:

    Martin S. Gaynor
    Carnegie Mellon University,
    Heinz College

    Renata B. Hesse
    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

    Jonathan M. Jacobson
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    Eric A. Posner
    University of Chicago Law School

    Evan Starr
    University of Maryland,
    Robert H. Smith School of Business

    Moderator: Derek W. Moore
    Federal Trade Commission

    1:00-2:00 pm

    Lunch Break

    2:00-3:45 pm

    What Can U.S. v. Microsoft Teach About Antitrust and Multi-Sided Platforms?

    Participants:

    Leah Brannon
    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

    Susan A. Creighton
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    A. Douglas Melamed
    Stanford University Law School

     

    Randal C. Picker
    University of Chicago Law School

    Daniel L. Rubinfeld
    New York University School of Law
    University of California, Berkeley
    School of Law

    Timothy Wu
    Columbia University Law School

    Moderator: William F. Adkinson, Jr.
    Federal Trade Commission, Office of Policy Planning

    3:45-4:00 pm

    Break

    4:00-5:30 pm

    Do the U.S. and Europe Treat Competition Cases Involving Platforms Differently?

    Participants:

    Cristina Caffarra
    Charles River Associates

    Simon Constantine
    Competition & Markets Authority (UK)

    Nicholas S. Economides
    New York University,
    Stern School of Business

    Nicolas Petit
    University of Liege School of Law

    Joshua D. Wright
    George Mason University,
    Antonin Scalia Law School

    Moderator: Maria Coppola
    Federal Trade Commission, Office of International Affairs

     

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    8:45-9:00 am

    Welcome

    9:00-10:45 am

    Understanding Exclusionary Conduct in Cases Involving Multi-Sided Platforms: Predatory Pricing, Vertical Restraints, and MFN

    Participants:

    Pinar Akman
    University of Leeds

    Susan Athey
    Stanford University
    Graduate School of Business

    Thomas P. Brown
    Paul Hastings LLP

    Judith A. Chevalier
    Yale University
    School of Management

    Richard L. Schmalensee
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management

    Moderator: Ian R. Conner
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition

    10:45-10:55 am

    Break

    10:55-12:45 pm

     

     

     

    Understanding Exclusionary Conduct in Cases Involving Multi-Sided Platforms: Issues Related to Vertically Integrated Platforms

    Participants:

    Lesley Chiou
    Occidental College,
    Department of Economics

    Susan A. Creighton
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    Robin S. Lee
    Harvard University,
    Department of Economics

    Nicolas Petit
    University of Liege School of Law

    Amy Ray
    Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

    Hal Singer
    Econ One Research

    Moderator: Barbara Blank
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition

    12:45-1:30 pm

    Lunch Break

    1:30-1:45 pm

    Nascent Competition: Economic Incentives and Business Strategies of Tech Firms

    Susan Athey
    Stanford University Graduate School of Business

    1:45-2:05 pm

    Nascent Competition: The Current Analytical Framework

    Paul T. Denis
    Dechert LLP

    2:05-3:20 pm

    Nascent Competition: Is the Current Analytical Framework Sufficient?

    Participants:

    Susan Athey
    Stanford University
    Graduate School of Business

    Paul T. Denis
    Dechert LLP

    Lina M. Khan
    Columbia University Law School

    John M. Newman
    University of Memphis,
    Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

    William P. Rogerson
    Northwestern University,
    Department of Economics

    Steven Tadelis
    University of California, Berkeley,
    Haas School of Business

    Willard K. Tom
    Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

    Moderator: Bilal Sayyed
    Federal Trade Commission, Office of Policy Planning

    3:20-3:30 pm

    Break

    3:30-4:50 pm

    Nascent Competition: Are Current Levels of Enforcement Appropriate?

    Participants:

    Sally Hubbard
    The Capitol Forum

    Jonathan S. Kanter
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

    Diana L. Moss
    American Antitrust Institute

    D. Daniel Sokol
    University of Florida,
    Levin College of Law

    John M. Yun
    George Mason University,
    Antonin Scalia Law School

    Moderator: Stephanie A. Wilkinson
    Federal Trade Commission

    4:50-5:00 pm

    Break

    5:00-6:20 pm

    Nascent Competition: Investigation and Litigation Considerations

    Participants:

    Debbie Feinstein
    Arnold & Porter

    David I. Gelfand
    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

    Raymond A. Jacobsen, Jr.
    McDermott Will & Emery LLP

    Andrea Agathoklis Murino
    Goodwin Procter LLP

    Scott A. Sher
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    Richard G. Parker
    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

    Moderator: Michael R. Moiseyev
    Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition

    6:20-6:30 pm

    Closing Remarks

  • Request for Comments

    If parties already filed relevant comments in response to the Initial Topics for Comment, they need not refile those comments here.

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