Axel Gautier

Axel Gautier is Professor of economics at the HEC Liège, University of Liège, Belgium. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Louvain. His field of research is industrial organization with a focus on the economics of platforms. Recently, he published papers on mergers in the digital economy, on net neutrality, and on competition between platforms. Axel Gautier is member of the CESifo network.

Pricing Algorithms Aren’t Colluding, Yet

Axel Gautier, Ashwin Ittoo, and Pieter van Cleynenbreugel write that the practice of pricing algorithms tacitly colluding remains theoretical for now, and technological obstacles render it very unlikely in the short term. However, regulators must still prepare for a future in which artificial intelligence achieves the necessary sophistication to collude.

Latest news

How US Antitrust Enforcement Against Xerox Promoted Innovation by Japanese Competitors

Xerox invented modern copier technology and was so successful that its brand name became a verb. In 1972, U.S. antitrust authorities charged Xerox with monopolization and eventually ordered the licensing of all its copier-related patents. As new research by Robin Mamrak shows, this antitrust intervention promoted subsequent innovation in the copier industry, but only among Japanese competitors. Nevertheless, their innovations benefited U.S. consumers.

Revising the Merger Guidelines To Return Antitrust to a Sound Economic and Legal Foundation

The draft Merger Guidelines largely replace the consumer welfare standard of the Chicago School with the lessening of competition principle found in the 1914 Clayton Act. This shift would enable the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division to utilize the full extent of modern economics to respond to rising concentration and its harmful effects, writes John Kwoka.

How Anthony Downs’s Analysis Explains Rational Voters’ Preferences for Populism

In new research, Cyril Hédoin and Alexandre Chirat use the rational-choice theory of economist Anthony Downs to explain how populism rationally arises to challenge established institutions of liberal democracy.

The Impact of Large Institutional Investors on Innovation Is Not as Positive as One Might Expect

In a new paper, Bing Guo, Dennis C. Hutschenreiter, David Pérez-Castrillo, and Anna Toldrà-Simats study how large institutional investors impact firm innovation. The authors find that large institutional investors encourage internal research and development but discourage firm acquisitions that would add patents and knowledge to their firms’ portfolios, hampering overall innovation.

The FTC Needs To Focus Arguments on Technological Transitions After High-Profile Losses

Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban argue that the Federal Trade Commission's focus in Meta-Within and Microsoft-Activision on narrow markets like VR fitness apps and consoles missed the boat on the real competition issue: the threat to future competition in nascent markets like VR platforms and cloud gaming.

We Need Better Research on the Relationship Between Market Power and Productivity in the Hospital Industry

Antitrust debates have largely ignored questions about the relationship between market power and productivity, and scholars have provided little guidance on the issue due to data limitations. However, data is plentiful on the hospital industry for both market power and operating costs and productivity, and researchers need to take advantage, writes David Ennis.

Debating the Draft Merger Guidelines: Transcript

On September 7, the Stigler Center hosted a webinar to discuss the draft merger guidelines. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the event.