10/20 Lunch: Joseph Farrell, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley and Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission

“FTC Protecting Competition and Consumers:  Economics of Loyalty Pricing and Debt Collection”

UPDATE: Slides from the talk may be downloaded here: SGE Farrell slides October 2011

The Federal Trade Commission deals with two branches of law enforcement: competition and consumer policy. The talk will reflect the work that the FTC does in those areas. In certain cases, the FTC is suspicious of dominant firms offering price discounts in return for a customer’s willingness to limit dealings with the dominant firm’s rivals. Other times, the FTC gets involved with the  economics of debt collection, which is essential to capital markets but apt to be taken too far, and with some of the things that policy does about that problem.