FTC Grocery Antitrust Conference

Josh Wright —  16 May 2007

The FTC’s Bureau of Economics has scheduled a conference that looks very interesting and concerns a subject near and dear to my heart: antitrust in the supermarket!  Sadly, I will not be able to attend as I am going to take a little bit of a paper grading/ battery re-charge vacation for the next few weeks before starting my full-time tour of duty at the Commission.  BE has put together an excellent program:

This one-day conference will look at antitrust analysis of the grocery industry including both historical analysis and analysis of current methods. The roundtable will include both paper presentations and panel sessions. The paper presentations will include recent academic work related to competition in the grocery store industry. The panels will include discussions from various people including academics, antitrust professionals and industry professionals.

Topics will include historical review of the Commission’s actions in this industry, current economic analysis of grocery and retail competition, and recent work on new methods for analyzing grocery and retail competition.

Participants include David Bell (UPenn Wharton), Arie Beresteanu (Duke), Tim Brennan (UMBC), Dennis Carlton (DOJ), Adam Copeland (BEA), Benoit Durand (UK Competition Authority), Paul Ellickson (Duke), Jim Fishkin (Dechert), Tom Holmes (Minnesota), Dennis Lu (Canadian Competition Authority), Dan O’Brien (DOJ), David Scheffman (LECG), Jon Seaton (Loughborogh University), Catherine Tucker (MIT Sloan), Raphael Thomadsen (UCLA), and economists from the FTC.

TOTM readers and … well … maybe just me … might have noticed that the conference agenda does not appear to include anything on a few of my favorite topics:

  1. Klein & Wright, The Economics of Slotting Contracts (forthcoming JLE in August).
  2. Wright, Slotting Contracts and Consumer Welfare (forthcoming Antitrust LJ).
  3. Wright, Antitrust Analysis of Category Management: Conwood Co. v. United States Tobacco (working paper, 2007).

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