Innovation Paradox in Merger Control (Book) Testimonials

Gönenç Gürkaynak’s new book provides a thoughtful analysis of the current and past understandings of the relationship between competition and innovation and a rich review of the treatment of innovation issues by the world’s most important competition agencies. It will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in these important issues.

Professor A. Douglas Melamed
Stanford Law School

Gönenç Gürkaynak’s Innovation Paradox in Merger Control is a remarkable book. It attacks its subject with devotion, rigor, vigor, and balance — from concept and theory to grass roots — the facts and analyses of the cases, the law, and the guidelines of three jurisdictions — EU, UK, and US. It assimilates vast amounts of material, from theoretical to doctrinal, including an abundance of both primary and secondary sources. Competition authorities, practitioners, theoreticians, academics, students, and the intellectually curious will happily immerse themselves in its pages.

Professor Eleanor M. Fox
NYU School of Law (New York)

Dr. Gönenç Gürkaynak makes a powerful case for competition agencies to accept the cost of a more intensive examination of innovation efficiency arguments as necessary to determine when intervention to block or qualify proposed transactions is appropriate. These proposals stand upon an impressive foundation of conceptual analysis and the practical insights about merger control. This reflects the author’s enviable accomplishments as a scholar and practitioner. Theory meets practice in the best way possible.

Professor William E. Kovacic
George Washington University - School of Law (Washington)

Gönenc Gürkaynak’s opus is an encyclopedia and most timely addition to the burgeoning literature and analysis of Dynamic Competition, and policy towards M&A. His concern is that regulators see anticompetitive effects of mergers as tangible and predictable while procompetitive arguments about innovation and the benefits of mergers are seen as speculative, perhaps even mysterious. He implicitly warns of the dangers of such an unbalanced approach. The book is not only an excellent survey but it drives home that the dynamic competition paradigm isn’t just the static paradigm revised; it’s the static paradigm replaced.

Professor David J. Teece
University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

In my personal library, this book written by Dr. Gönenç Gürkaynak stands out as a remarkable source of information and an inspiring analysis about how innovation is, could, and should be treated, worldwide, by competition courts and agencies.

Paul Nihoul
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)

This book assembles and analyzes virtually everything worth knowing about the relationship between innovation and competition policy relevant to merger review, both as a matter of theory and as that relationship has been variously (mis) understood by the US, EU, and UK competition authorities. As a prominent antitrust lawyer, the author appreciates and demonstrates the need for case-by-case analysis to improve the empirical basis for merger decisions. The result is a stimulating and rewarding study that supports the author’s doubts about structural presumptions given the current state of our knowledge.

Douglas H. Ginsburg
US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (Washington)

The relationship between competition policy and innovation is a close but complex one, and is further challenged by the impact of platform-based interactions on evolving markets. This valuable study of innovation theory in merger analysis is a detailed and thoughtful treatment of the topic, richly illustrated by a deep study of caselaw in the three jurisdictions that have contributed most to the jurisprudence. It lays out the current approach to innovation theory, as well as its historical origins, and will be welcomed by academics and practitioners in both law and economics.

Tim Frazer
Competition Appeal Tribunal (London)

Dr. Gürkaynak’s book provides a highly valuable analysis of the issue of innovation in competition law, particularly in relation to tech-related mergers. His combination of perspectives - as both scholar and practitioner in a range of international and domestic legal contexts - provides many unique insights. I highly recommend it.

Professor David Gerber
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Professor Gönenç Gürkaynak’s magisterial new book provides a sweeping and penetrating examination of how innovation is accounted for in merger control today in three critical jurisdictions, the U.S., the EU, and the UK. What distinguishes this book is not only its attention to the detail of the caselaw, but the author’s provision of a theoretical framework for understanding the economic drivers of innovation and its diffusion. It provides us with a needed reminder of the critical importance of going beyond price effects in merger analysis.

Professor Harry First
NYU School of Law (New York)

Professor Gurkaynak provides a framework for incorporating innovation to competition policy, starting from characterizing innovation and developing concepts to analyze actual merger cases in the EU, UK and USA. This demostrates the robustness of the approach and he succesfully applied to digital markets in developed economies, hinting possibility of extending to a]a wide range of merger review in developed econmes where innovation is or can be a concern.

Reiko Aoki
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)

Gönenç Gürkaynak’s Innovation Paradox in Merger Control is a rare achievement. The level of erudition displayed and the familiarity with complex economic theory can only be found in the most sophisticated research work done by academics. In turn, the familiarity with the world of practice and with the everyday reality of merger control shows that the author is, in addition to a scholar at heart, an accomplished practitioner. This unique combination means that the book will be studied and enjoyed by lawyers and advanced students alike. Academics like myself will find themselves checking the book on a regular basis when looking for a clear and in-depth account of the way leading competition authorities deal with innovation issues. Innovation Paradox in Merger Control will populate bookshelves around the world.

Professor Pablo Ibanez Colomo
London School of Economics and Political Science

The book addresses the intricate relationship between innovation and competition, in merger control. In the landscape of digital conglomerates, Gönenç’s analysis is particularly worthy, considering its empirical grounds (examining 80 merger decisions) and its comparative approach (EU, UK, and USA). This book should contribute to the development of adequate metrics for measuring innovation, thus enabling the adoption of a proper dynamic analysis (which is often preached but seldom practiced).

Felipe Irarrazabal Philippi

In a world where innovation drives competition as much as competition drives innovation, Gönenç's new book is essential reading for at least three reasons: first, it provides readers with a systematic analysis of case law rather than cherry-picking cases; second, it compares US, EU and UK cases with the depth of a top practitioner fully immersed in academic discussions; third, the book blends legal, economic and technical insights. This makes “Innovation Paradox in Merger Control” a truly unique and insightful manuscript.

Dr. Thibault Schrepel
Stanford University

Timely, comprehensive, practical, and thoughtful, this excellent treatise on an important topic surveys the law and economics of innovation theory in merger control from Plato to Brandeis with insight, erudition, and balance.

Nicholas Levy
Solicitor, England and Wales, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

This comprehensive study is a forceful plea to reform the way we incorporate innovation concerns in merger control. Building on a very thorough study of history, economic theory and merger cases from the EU, the UK and the US, Dr. Gönenç Gürkaynak makes the case that, though the increased focus nowadays on innovation in merger control is welcome, it should be accompanied by a rebalancing of competition agencies’ practice. To integrate innovation completely in their mandate and their reasoning, the author affirms that agencies need to accept innovation efficiency arguments as fully as they do innovation theories of harm, which they do not do in practice yet. Whether we agree or not with the conclusion, the extensive research on which this work rests makes it a necessary and inspiring analysis that will greatly contribute to the debate on merger control and is invaluable for practitioners, academics and agency officials.

Étienne Chantrel
French Competition Authority (Paris)

The timing of this book is apt given that nations and firms are in a contest to win the innovation race. With COMESA’s responsibility of regulating competition in 21 African countries, this book is an indispensable resource for engaging with national competition authorities and their governments to understand the complex relationship between merger control and innovation, and how this relationship should be carefully navigated to arrive at an optimal outcome. Professor Gurkaynak confronts and objectively discusses the relationship between merger control and innovation, providing a platform for stakeholders to question and consider a paradigm shift from the traditional consideration of this relationship. This book is a masterpiece which is not only a must stock, but a must read for competition authorities, economists, attorneys and academicians.

Dr. Willard Mwemba
Director & Chief Executive Officer at the COMESA Competition Commission

There are books that decorate your library and books to which you frequently turn for information. Gönenç Gürkaynak’s Innovation Paradox in Merger Control falls into the latter category. Given the importance of innovation in merger analysis today, the volume is a "must read" for anyone seriously interested in merger policy. Gürkaynak covers his topic very well. It is both a fine scholarly treatise and at the same time an immensely valuable volume for the practicing lawyer and sitting judge.

Terry Calvani
Senior Advisor, Brunswick Group LLC

A masterful, balanced and rigorous examination of innovation considerations in merger control. The author’s analysis is theoretically solid and exceptionally insightful and thought-provoking. A must-read for academics and practitioners alike.

Dr. Deni Mantzari
University College London

Innovation Paradox in Merger Control is a real achievement. It is comprehensive, reflective, and tremendously useful, and it belongs on the shelf of anyone concerned with competition, antitrust, or regulation. The book draws on intellectual history, economic theory, legal doctrine, and practical insight -- across three jurisdictions! -- to deliver a series of complementary perspectives on the most elusive of regulatory goals: the promotion of innovation. Practitioners will be grateful for the book's concise, effective summaries of leading cases and analytical tools; scholars will be rewarded by its rich engagement with history and theory; and everyone will be delighted by the comparative insights revealed by Professor Gürkaynak's juxtaposition of the law of the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Bill Kovacic puts it perfectly in the Introduction: this is a "uniquely informative" volume. It is indeed. I will consult it often!

Professor Daniel Francis
NYU School of Law

Taking pleasure in the achievements of a student, younger colleague, friend or youthful star is one of the joys of grey hair. Having seen the author in each of these capacities, it was not for me in the slightest surprising to observe that this book cites Plato, Heike Schweitzer, Lina Khan and Eleanor Fox with equal surefootedness. It addresses the fundamental question of whether to classify as a merit or something else the impact of a merger on innovation. Having participated during my professional youth in various merger controversies, I had the impression of a highly politicised debate during which proponents described sunlit uplands of prosperity after the merger had been accomplished, while critics and the public authority predicted dank sunless swamps of economic decline. A bit like the depiction in the town hall of Sienna of the consequences of good and bad government. Too facile, too black and white. The book tries to produce an intellectual structure by studying 76 cases from EU the UK and the USA, making a crisp analysis of each, and producing a coherent theory regarding the role and weight attributable to technical innovation. In the past year, or maybe eighteen months, we have seen a harsher climate for new mergers on both sides of the Atlantic. Illumina Grail is considered, a very fresh and remarkable development. As I write, there are several other merger decisions which are making the front pages. Perhaps the biggest innovations in terms of enforcement are in the United States. I want to read and digest this book and then look to it as a source of clear sentiments regarding the relevance of innovation in merger cases. I may agree or disagree with the conclusions offered by my esteemed former colleague, but I shall surely be better informed.

Ian S. Forrester

In this excellent research work Gonenc Gurkaynak provides a tour de force on the analysis of innovation concerns in merger control in the EU, US and the UK. Not only does the work include an up to date critical analysis of the most relevant case law and decisional practice of competition authorities in the area of merger control, but it also engages in an in-depth analysis of the paradigm of innovation in competition law and policy, and what this shift of focus to innovation concerns may mean for competition law and policy. Drawing on economic literature but also history of ideas and moral philosophy, the volume can also be of interest to a broader audience than competition lawyers and economists. This is a reference in the area of merger control and more broadly innovation studies in competition law.

Professor Ioannis Lianos
University College London

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