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Information Exchange, Market Transparency and Dynamic Oligopoly

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Prepared for Wayne Dale Collins (ed.), Issues in Competition Law and Policy, (forthcoming) Bar Association. We wish to thank Christopher Wilson, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia for comments on an earlier draft. ; In the economics literature, various views on the likely (efficiency) effects of information exchange,communication between firms and market transparency present themselves. Often these views oninformation flows are highly conflicting. On the one hand, it is argued that increased informationdissemination improves firm planning to the benefit of society (including customers) and/or allowspotential customers to make the right decisions given their preferences. On the other hand, theliterature also suggests that increased information dissemination can have significant coordinating orcollusive potential to the benefit of firms but at the expense of society at large (mainly, potentialcustomers). In this chapter, we try to make sense of these views, with the aim of presenting somesimple lessons for antitrust practice. In addition, the chapter presents some cases, from both sides ofthe Atlantic, where informational issues have played a significant role.

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Per Baltzer Overgaard, Peter Møllgaard

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