Report: Fair and Equal Opportunities in Germany as a Trade Fair Location
Haucap, J., D. Fritz, S. Thorwarth, Chancengleichheit am Messestandort Deutschland. An expert opinion commissioned by the Fachverbands Messen und Ausstellungen e.V. (FAMA).
In contrast to almost all other countries, the trade fair sector in Germany has a special feature.The trade fair industry in Germany - in contrast to almost all other countries - is characterized by the fact that public trade fair companies are not only operators of the trade fair infrastructure,but also operate their own trade fairs as vertically integrated providers, thus competing with private trade fair organizers. The private trade fair organizers are not integrated, but are rather on access to the trade fair infrastructure of the public trade fair companies and are thus dependent on them.
In terms of competition policy, there is a danger here of anti-competitive self-preference. This can manifested on the one hand in the incentive to give preferential treatment to "in-house" trade fairs in trade fairs, for example in the allocation of slots. On the other hand, however, the sole information within a trade fair company - i.e. between the operator of the trade fair infrastructure and the infrastructure and the in-house trade fair organizers - can lead to disadvantages for private trade fair operators. In the worst case, a vertically integrated provider can even take over and organize a trade fair itself.
In order to analyze this problem situation, DICE Consult GmbH ("DICE Consult") under the leadership of of Professor Dr. Justus Haucap was comissioned with a short expert report on equal opportunities in Germany as a trade fair location by the Fachverbands Messen und Ausstellungen e.V. (FAMA). The present report is the result of this commission.
In essence, it shows that true equality of opportunity does not currently exist in Germany as a trade fair location. On the one hand, vertically integrated suppliers have factual incentives to favor themselves, on the other hand, there are no effective compliance rules. It would therefore be advisable for the trade show industry to commit to a code of conduct in order to prevent possible discrimination and self discrimination and anti-competitive self-preferential treatment.