New book about competition and public intervention

Press release

Public intervention in markets can often result in distortion of competition. In a new book produced by the Swedish Competition Authority, a number of international researchers offer important insights and discuss lessons to be learned from research into publicly-controlled companies that compete with private ones.

“At the end of this year, Sweden will be getting a new competition rule that regulates how municipalities, county councils and government agencies will be allowed to pursue sales activities in competition with others,” notes Competition Authority Director General Dan Sjöblom. “By publishing this book, which brings together a number of researchers, we’re contributing a theoretical basis that ilustrates how markets are affected by competition from the public sector.”

The research anthology, which this year is entitled ‘The Pros and Cons of Competition in/by the Public Sector’, is part of a series of publications that the Competition Authority has issued, with a number of different themes. In connection with the appearance of these publications, the agency organises a research seminar with the same theme. Over 100 researchers, lawyers and representatives of authorities charged with safeguarding competition attended this year’s seminar. Previous subjects discussed in this way have included vertical restraints, price discrimination, information exchange and merger control.

Gianni De Fraja, who works at the universities of Leicester and Rome, establishes a theoretical economic basis in his chapter for analysing interaction between private and public actors operating in the same market. His principal areas of focus are the banking market, the traditional goods market and a range of welfare areas.
D Daniel Sokol from the University of Florida surveys the rules that different countries have chosen in order to control competition from publicly owned companies. He also examines this issue from a corporate governance perspective.

Two other authors who have taken part in the research anthology are Hans W Friederiszick and Jakub Kałużny from ESMT Competition Analysis.
They examine the lessons learned from the EU’s control of state subsidies in discussing the relationship between competition policy and publicly owned companies.

Michael Steinicke, Professor of Public Procurement at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, deals in his chapter with the relationship between public procurement and state aid.

Next year’s research anthology on the theme of ‘Pros and Cons ’ will examine how competition is affected by different types of standards.

For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel +46 8-700 15 80 or +46 76-542 15 80
Arvid Fredenberg, Assistant Chief Economist, tel +46 8-700 15 41

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