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Assessing the Impact of Antitrust Intervention by the Italian Competition Authority

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In the last 2 years the Italian Competition Authority conducted several impact analyses, two of which – regarding baby milk and fresh milk markets – are presented here. A few lessons can be learned from these analyses. First, uncovering a cartel and imposing fines by themselves do not necessarily interrupt the effects of the anticompetitive behaviour. Second, by disclosing new information to the general public, an investigation can make the market more transparent so as to increase the probability of a successful entry. Third, in complex markets, remedies that have been imposed in clearing mergers may work out in unexpected ways. Fourth, mergers involving nationwide sellers should not be assessed only by watching the local relevant markets, as the incentive structure for coordination can be modified also at national level. Fifth, it seems advisable to appoint an independent trustee when divestures are imposed.

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Correspondence to Pierluigi Sabbatini.

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Italian Competition Authority. The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not involve the responsibility of the Italian Authority. I want to thank Fabio Massimo Esposito and an anonymous referee for comments and observations. All remaining errors are my own.

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Sabbatini, P. Assessing the Impact of Antitrust Intervention by the Italian Competition Authority. De Economist 156, 491–505 (2008).

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