EU consultation on cultural and creative industries

Consultation: GREEN PAPER on "Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries"

Live from the ICN Conference 2010 (a very personal perspective) - Day One

Some introductory remarks going on... The documents available sofar are worth reading (see also the program)

Almunia speaking:
- Turkey a fantastic country (I totally agree, sadly not part of the EU)
- Crisis, we have to be even more determined
- competition on the merits
- less efficient firms should leave the market, even more so given the current times
- markets should remain open, mergers not to be used as a protectionist tool
- convergency important (stressed as a key message)
- global convergence in legal and economic analysis
- Commission's role (also) of bringing cases useful for many countries
- cross border trade important
- specificities still exist but common principles should be established
- unilateral conduct, role of the ICN
-- share experiences
-- Announcement: ICN discussing this topic in Brussels soon
- each legal system can deliver good results
- merger control has been facilitated
- transparency of decisions important
- reasoned decisions - consistency, predicatbility
- ICN a success story (105 agencies)
- future?
- Almunia's ideas:
-- advocacy worldwide, especially in crisis
-- projects important, if focused
-- convergence worldwide: Best Practices should be developed further
-- help to new agencies
-- full representation of competition authorities should be achieved (some not ICN's members)

Agency Effectiveness Working Group:
Olavo Chinaglia, Commissioner, Brazil Council for Economic Defense
- earlier: gathering info in order to share
-- manage human resources, etc.
- now: extract general, abstract guidelines (second phase)
- handbook prepared
-- tool to help agencies in their internal work
-next: guidelines have been put into effect?
- but the two phases (collect/assess) connected
-- not stopping gathering info
- next year
-- work on second chapter (presented today)
-- third chapter's draft (on knowledge management)

Advocacy Working Group:
Ed Smith, Director of International, U.K. Office of Fair Trading
- two projects
-- sharing experience (5 seminars, reports available on ICN website)
-- market studies
--- select
--- stakeholders' role
--- manage projects
- feedback
- teleseminars should go on
- update of available toolkits
- across the board (?)
- need to change something? Later we'll know more...
Cartel Working Group: Jozsef Sarai, Section Head, Hungarian Competition Authority
- essential conclusions
-- criminal sanctions the most effective tool
--- incentive for leniency

Merger Working Group:
J. Robert Kramer II, Director of Operations and Civil Enforcement, U.S.
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
- working on recommended practices going on
-- East-West: inspiration for the working groups
--- new way of working developed
-- market definition and comments accompanying them
--- only a tool (referred to market definition), possibly not decisive
- hypothetical monopolist test incomporated
- ways to implement RP
- supply side substitution (where to put it?)
- Failing Firm
-- carefully assess counterfactual (what would happen if?)
-- links to/role of the parent company?

Unilateral Conduct Working Group:
Markus Lange, Head, International Section, German Bundeskartellamt
- understand/promote convergence
- analysis of refusal to deal
-- questionnaire distributed
-- good cooperation
-- rtd: not specifically defined
-- not only outright, also constructive (unreasonable terms)
-- margin squeeze: topical subject
-- 150 cases about it
--- 300 ms not assessed
-- general rule: freedom to contract
--then, when to intervene (answer tomorrow)?
- need of exchange among agencies felt
- divergencies, but those can still be discussed on substantial terms (ICN's plus point)
- future work
-- new workgroup on unilateral conduct
-- remedies
-- divergencies not to be underestimated
- implementation of past work
- NGA's involvement

Kazuhiko Takeshima, ICN Vice Chair of Advocacy and
- report of last year's very intensive work
- more coordination and work in the future
-- needs assessment
-- structure

Mexican Federal Competition Commission

- database of regional networks
- technical assistance
-- template package
-- regulatory barriers (World Bank)
- UNCTAD: translations, participation
- APEC (?)

William Kovacic, ICN Vice Chair of Outreach
- technology
-- blog
--- coverage of activities
--- visitorship increased
---- more intensive use
--- more than 70 countries
--- use should be intensified!
- Outreach toolkit
-- slides on ICN's mission and objectives
-- more detailed revue of workgroups' outcome
-- Studies
--- academics about other networks' experiences (learning)
- Ahead
-- narrative
-- more NGAs' involvement (research centres involved)
-- convergence on good practices
-- dissemination
- ICN University
-- webbased approach
-- common vocabulary
---- not homogeneity
-- demonstration (movie: audio not working)
--- very funny remarks
- presentation on their activities in the field of competition

Panel: Ahead?
- more "discipline" in choosing projects
- OECD's strength
-- members' experience
-- secretariat's good work
--- regional centres' involvement
-- policies in perspective: material already collected the org. can refer to
-- interdisciplinarity (studies on innovation etc.)
--- complementarities with other policies

ICN's strength vis à vis OECD
- complementarities
-- but: how to invest?
- content, peer reviews
-- more practically oriented,
-- perhaps different distribution network
-- different audiences (case level for the ICN)
-- org output's assessment
- possible tensions
-- how to allocate limited resources
- ICN: possibly more "bounding" of its members
- ICN's technical assistance good, possibly even better if coordinated with different orgs (such as OECD)

How to work closer together (ICN-OECD)?
- better transmission of info
-- liason "slightly more formal"
--- what's going on?
-- channels of distribution
- OECD's competition commission
-- somebody in charge of summing up what ICN does
-- outreach/technical assistance, difficult to be more informed (also because ICN doesn't have a Secretariat)
-- more joint events
--- at the content's level
-- pedagogical material
--- repackaging of OECD's material
--- cooperation with the coming ICN's university

Planning for the ICN’s Second Decade: Setting the Stage for Breakout Sessions, Plenary
- Vision, direction, implementation
- Achievements (useful for the future: but how do we measure them?)
-- efforts/contents/infrastructure/backbone for multilateral and bilateral discussions-negotiations among agencies
-- common work on advocacy, important in recession, based on experience (e.g. Japan)
- Respectful understanding of divergencies
-- taking care of economic conditions

Difficul things ahead?
Focus on the Working Groups
ICN's critical factors
- focus on competition
- vertical structure
- stakeholders' and agencies involvement
- structure of the working groups

- Implementation
-- Barriers to better use?
-- communication/education
-- workshops

- Agency Effectiveness
-- quality control
- Inclusiveness
-- more diversed geographically

Algorithms and competition

M. Vestager, here . Large friendly letters? "It's true that the idea of automated systems getting together and reaching a...