PublishedNovember 26, 2009

CCIA Announces Panel on Competition and Innovation; Kicks off Series of Papers Examining High-tech Competition Policy

The Computer & Communications Industry Association will kick off a series of dialogues on competition, innovation and consumer choice with a panel discussion over lunch at the Newseum on Tuesday, October 27. CCIA President & CEO Ed Black will moderate this broad discussion, “Competition Policy as Innovation Policy,” which will take an in depth look at the role that antitrust enforcement can play as a tool to enhance innovation and national competitiveness. In conjunction with this panel, CCIA will also release the first paper in a three-part series examining high-tech competition policy issues.

After years of lax antitrust enforcement, the United States is experiencing a reawakening. The extreme laissez-faire policies of the past decade directly contributed to the recent financial crisis and spurred the creation of too big to fail firms that almost brought our country and the world to its knees. Now as our nation stands poised for recovery, we seek to examine the proper role of competition policy in the effort to revitalize our economy, grow it in a way that insulates us from a similar future catastrophe and spur the innovation necessary to enable future growth and prosperity. Of particular concern to CCIA is maintaining the nation’s status as the hub of innovation and technological growth, which is conditioned on highly competitive markets.

The time is ripe for discussion. Tuesday’s event features Joseph Farrell, director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, former Clinton administration economist Jonathan Orszag and David Turetsky, co-chair of Dewey & LeBouef’s antitrust practice group and former deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. Farrell will give a keynote speech ahead of the panel discussion.

The first paper in CCIA’s three-part competition, innovation and consumer choice series, “An Economic Perspective On The Antitrust Case Against Intel,” brings together some perspective from two different administrations. It is co-authored by three prominent economists — Orszag, Robert Willig, and Gilad Levin. Willig served as deputy assistant attorney general for economics under the first Bush administration, and currently is an economics professor at Princeton. Levin is an economist who specializes in antitrust issues.

Antitrust oversight is an essential tool in protecting consumers from anticompetitive conduct. This first White Paper examines the recent string of investigations and cases against Intel to outline the elements that an empirical investigation should consider in determining whether consumers have been harmed by Intel’s alleged exclusionary pricing.

About the series: CCIA’s competition, innovation and consumer choice series takes a sustained look at major antitrust policy issues and their effect on consumers through a series of dialogues and consumer impact white papers. The papers, to be released through mid-November, provide an interdisciplinary look at these issues from the perspectives of an economist, an industry analyst, and an antitrust attorney. The reports were commissioned by CCIA as part of its longstanding mission to advocate fair, balanced competition policy and to better understand how unbalanced competition policy can harm consumers and innovation.

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