Centre for Law, Economics and Society


Professor Ioannis Lianos speaks at the 5th BRICS annual competition law conference in Brazil

16 November 2017

Professor Ioannis Lianos, Professor in Competition Law and Public Policy at UCL Faculty of Laws and Director of the UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES), spoke at a series of events organised within the context of the 5th BRICS annual competition law conference in Brazil.

Professor Lianos first chaired a panel at the International Workshop on Advances in Competition Policy Analysis held in Rio de Janeiro on 6 November 2017. Then, Professor Lianos delivered a lecture on the topic of the “Sharing Economy and Competition Law” in the context of the pre-BRICS “Lectures in Competition Analysis” held in Brasilia on 8 November 2017.

Professor Lianos participated as a panellist to the annual BRICS conference on 9 November 2017 presenting the first draft of the report he has been preparing for the BRICS competition authorities in the context of the BRICS working group on the food sector to which he is a member.

The draft report, which will be completed in the next few months by a team of international academics and enforcers from the CLES at UCL and a number of other research Institutes globally (including NGOs), will be the first joint research work undertaken and sponsored by the BRICS competition authorities. It is considered a pilot project in the context of the constitution of a BRICS Research Institute/Platform in Competition Law and Policy, a project Professor Lianos has conceived and spearheaded over the last two years.

This 1000 pages report covers an unprecedented ground in the area of food regulation. The report promotes a new perspective and methodology in performing competition law analysis by putting forward new concepts and tools, such as the Global Value Chain approach, the focus on vertical competition, the concept of polycentric competition law, the re-conceptualization of superior bargaining power in competition law and its interaction with the use of this concept in other areas of law. The report also promotes new approaches in understanding the anticompetitive effects of common ownership and the role of financialisation in competition law enforcement, new approaches in the way the impact of mergers on innovation is assessed.

The report also includes a detailed discussion and statistics of the enforcement of competition law in BRICS over the last ten years concerning food value chains and in particular examines the recent merger cases concerning a number of M&A transactions.

The final version of the report will also include research on price transmission mechanisms in the context of food value chains, the role of subsidies and their effect on global competition in the food sector and a number of additional case studies on animal genetics, animal health and the retail sector in various BRICS jurisdictions. The final version of the report will also include qualitative research performed by Professor Lianos and his team (in particular a number of semi-structured interviews of market actors and regulators around the world).

The final version of the report will be presented at an event to be held at UCL in the spring of 2018.

The conference participants acknowledged the importance of the report and predicted that it will have an important impact on the way competition law is enforced in the food sector, in BRICS, emergent and developing economies but also beyond. This constitutes an example of real global public engagement and real global impact undertaken by the CLES at UCL.

Following the BRICS official meeting, the CLES at UCL co-organized with the FGV Law School in Sao Paulo a well-attended exploratory workshop on the topic of “General Purpose Technologies and Competition Law” that was held in Sao Paulo on 11 November 2017.

Initiated by a concept note prepared by Professor Lianos, this is the first workshop exploring systematically the use of the concept of GPT in conceptualizing competition law enforcement in dynamic industries involving new technology. More than 50 participants (economists, lawyers and sociologists of science) came from the public and private sector from Brazil and abroad and engaged with various industries and sectors, such as IT, artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, biotech, gene editing and its uses in pharma and agriculture.

A follow-up workshop will be organised in 2018, leading to a publication of a volume in the context of the Cambridge University press Global Competition Law, Economics and Public Policy book series professor Lianos initiated and is the co-director with a number of international colleagues from the United, States, Asia, European Union and Africa (a truly global book series).

Read the full draft report