Empirical challenges when assessing excessive pricing during Covid-19 national disaster period
Assessing excessive pricing during the Covid-19 crisis will be challenging. Based on the regulations published last week in the Government Gazette, South African competition authorities will compare prices during the period of national disaster to prices over December 2019 to February 2020 when determining excessive pricing. In this comment, Prof Willem Boshoff of the CCLE argues that such a short benchmark period raises challenges to understanding how the price of a product 'normally' responds to [...]
Excessive pricing regulations under the Covid-19 crisis
On 19 March 2020, the Minister of Trade and Industry published regulations in the Government Gazette, pertaining to the pricing and supply of certain consumer and medical products and services during the Covid-19 national disaster period. Some of the regulations relate to the Competition Act’s provisions on excessive pricing. In this short opinion piece, Prof Willem Boshoff provides a high-level economics commentary. You can access the link here.
Artificial intelligence, Algorithms and Collusion
What is a cat? The answer may seem intuitive, but giving a clear definition is more complex than you think. Will you define it by the number of ears, fangs or legs? The presence of fur or whiskers? It may be easy to distinguish between a cat and a panther, but will that be thanks to your definition or is that because of what you have learnt? Today, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, computers [...]
Concentrating on markets
Since 2016, so-called industry concentration has gradually received more attention among competition policy practitioners. In the US in particular, both academics and some policymakers have argued that American industries and the economy at large have become more concentrated. In South Africa, lawmakers have cited high and persistent levels of concentration as motivation for enacting changes to the competition law. In fact, the aim of South African lawmakers is now explicitly to “deconcentrate” the economy[i]. The [...]