Virtual Edition of Annual MaCCI Conference Marks Its 10-Year Anniversary


Largest MaCCI Conference Since the Founding of the Research Alliance

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Annual Conference of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI), which was jointly organised by ZEW Mannheim and the University of Mannheim on 11 and 12 March 2021. This was the first time that the conference took place as an online event. With a total of 270 participants and 22 parallel sessions, this was the largest MaCCI conference ever held.

The first conference day focused on different aspects of competition analysis. The event was opened with a panel discussion on market analyses in Europe, which was moderated by MaCCI Director Professor Martin Peitz from the University of Mannheim. The participants had the opportunity to join the discussion with Professor Amelia Fletcher from the University of East Anglia in the UK, Professor Massimo Motta from Pompeu Fabra University and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in Spain, and Professor Alexandre de Streel from the University of Namur in Belgium.

Keynote Speeches with Focus on Competition Authorities

The opening discussion was followed by two keynote speeches, which shed light on different aspects of competition research from both an economic and legal perspective. How do competition authorities assess market concentration? Is this a good way to measure competition? What can we learn from the most frequently used approaches to measure market concentration? Professor Michael Whinston from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, addressed these questions in his keynote speech on horizontal mergers. His analysis is based on a research paper published with MaCCI member Professor Volker Nocke from the University of Mannheim. According to Professor Whinston, the most frequently used measures are good indicators to assess the impact of firm mergers on consumer surplus.

The second keynote speech delivered by Herbert Hovenkamp, professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, US, focused on possible remedies for platform monopolies. He shed light on the following questions: Are digital platforms ‘winner-take-all’ firms? Should antitrust authorities take action against these firms, or is there no cause for concern? How does competition between digital platforms look like? And finally, the central question: Which measures can be taken to remedy situations where competition between digital platforms is impaired? In his speech, Professor Hovenkamp argued that large platform companies like Apple and Facebook should not be viewed as winner-takes-all firms since even in this industry, firms have to adopt different measures to compete for a dominant position in the market

Largest MaCCI Conference ever Held: 22 Parallel Sessions with 66 Presentations

The second day of the conference featured 22 parallel sessions on various topics related to competition and innovation, allowing researchers from the realms of law and economics to engage in an exchange across disciplines by discussing their most recent findings. The sessions on the economic theory of digital platforms, which are currently the topic of intensive debates, were met with particular interest from the participants. There were some significant benefits to the online format: never has it been so easy to bring together 270 participants from different time zones across the globe.

About MaCCI

MaCCI – short for “Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation” – is a research alliance between ZEW and the School of Law and Economics at the University of Mannheim which encourages the exchange of knowledge between economists and legal experts. In doing so, it inspires new approaches to issues relating to competition, regulation and innovation policy. Core topics analysed by MaCCI include vertical competition restraints, abuse of market power, merger control, public and private enforcement of competition law, and regulations in the telecommunications and energy market.