CLIP of the month: Competition law and innovation – where do we stand?


This month’s CLIP is an editorial in the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice written by leading LSE economist Pablo Ibanez Colomo. Pablo writes regularly and is a co-founder of the superb Chillin’Competition blog.

This particular article looks at the latest developments in the evolving relationship that exists between competition law and policy and innovation. The debate of these issues in some ways came to a head in the Commission’s Phase II decision in Dow/DuPont in which the Commission delved more deeply into speculative research poles when considering overlaps not just of products on the market, but of those in an earlier stage of development. In this article, Pablo looks at the tension that can exist between the legal framework and an economic assessment of the relationship between market concentration and innovation.

Looking beyond the field of merger control, Pablo also considers the ongoing Commission investigation into alleged collusion between German car manufacturers where the alleged collusion itself was in respect of future developments and innovation of clean emission technologies (see our own comment on this investigation: “The Cartelization of Innovation – a new emissions scandal?”).

It is clear that this topic is far from stale and that we can look forward to further developments across merger control and anti-trust decisions in the year ahead.