ANNOUNCEMENT: ICLE Names Dirk Auer Director of Competition Policy

PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 7, 2022) — The International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) today announced that Dirk Auer has been promoted to the position of director of competition policy. In this role, Dirk will manage the center’s work on competition and antitrust issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and abroad.

Originally joining ICLE in October 2018, Dirk has served for the past three years as a senior fellow in law & economics, with an emphasis on antitrust, digital markets, and European competition law. 

“Dirk has proven himself an outstanding scholar with a nimble mind, able to apply the methodology of law & economics to a host of problems in creative ways,” ICLE President Geoffrey Manne said. “We are delighted to have him in the fold as one of the emerging voices of the next generation of law & economics scholarship.”

Among his recent scholarly work, Dirk has been co-author of “Antitrust Dystopia and Antitrust Nostalgia: Alarmist Theories of Harm in Digital Markets and Their Origins” for the George Mason Law Review;  “Encouraging AI Adoption by EU SMEs” for the Progressive Policy Institute; “Should ASEAN Antitrust Laws Emulate European Competition Policy?,” forthcoming in the Singapore Economic Review; and “Technology Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control,” forthcoming in the Missouri Law Review

Dirk takes over the leadership of ICLE’s competition policy program from Samuel Bowman, who will continue on as an ICLE affiliate as he pursues other interests. 

“For both good and for ill, we find ourselves in 2022 in an exciting time for competition policy,” Auer said. “European policymakers have shown renewed interest in using competition law to achieve a host of political ends, and some lawmakers and enforcers in the United States appear to be turning away from the longstanding commitment to the consumer welfare standard.”

“I look forward to my expanded role with ICLE and believe we can be a voice of clarity in these very important debates about the future of both competition and innovation,” he added.

In addition to his work with ICLE, Dirk also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Liège, where he teaches European competition law and the economics of competition law, and at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he teaches American law. 

Before joining ICLE, he worked as a research fellow at the Liège Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII) in Liège, Belgium. He also worked in the competition practices of two international law firm.

He earned his PhD in competition law and innovation from the University of Liège in 2019, writing his dissertation on the “innovation defense” in European and U.S. antitrust laws. His dissertation argued that competition enforcers should take steps to ensure that regulatory intervention does not chill firms’ incentives to innovate. 

He also completed LLMs at the University of Chicago Law School in 2014 and at the University of Liège in 2011. He received his law degree from the Catholic University of Louvain in 2010, specializing in European law.