Use of Interim Measures and Preliminary Injunctions in Antitrust Investigations Explored in Paper by Analysis Group Economists

February 5, 2021

Writing in the Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Analysis Group Managing Principal Antoine Chapsal, Vice President Juliette Caminade, and Jacob Penglase (Assistant Professor in San Diego State University’s Department of Economics) explore the renewed interest in interim measures (IMs) and preliminary injunctions as enforcement tools in antitrust investigations.

To examine the risks of over-enforcement and under-enforcement through the use of IMs, the authors first analyze historical practices and criteria surrounding their use in the United States and Europe. They then present an economic model of the parameters underlying IMs and propose that this model can be used to inform regulators’ and adjudicators’ decisions whether to pursue IMs.

Developing an understanding of the economic effects of IMs on a market is particularly important in investigations into the fast-moving digital sector, where network effects can accelerate both the growth and the demise of competitors. The authors conclude by discussing the characteristics of the digital economy underlying the renewed debate over the use of IMs in antitrust investigations.

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