“Given the political controversy that has arisen because of the selection of a non-European to fill this position, and the importance that the Directorate General has the full backing of the European Union as it enforces, I have determined that the best course of action is for me to withdraw and not take up the Chief Economist position,” she wrote in a letter to Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission.
Prof. Scott Morton will provide economic analysis and strategic guidance to the EU’s lead competition authority.
The European Commission has appointed Professor Fiona Scott Morton the chief competition economist at the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP). The DG COMP works to ensure fair competition across the European single market, and Scott Morton, the first woman to be its chief economist, will provide strategic advice and economic analysis to guide ongoing policy development and enforcement efforts in the EU. While she serves in the role, Scott Morton will be on public service leave from Yale SOM, where she is the Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics.
Yale SOM Deputy Dean for Faculty Heather Tookes commended the choice of Scott Morton to serve in this influential role. “Fiona is one of the world’s leading experts in competition and antitrust economics. She is also deeply committed to public service and to the idea that competition benefits consumers and the broader society. She has already made substantial contributions through her academic work, her teaching, her tenure with the U.S. Department of Justice, and her leadership of the Thurman Arnold Project. I and my colleagues at Yale SOM are proud to see her take on this important new role.”
Scott Morton has been on the faculty at Yale SOM since 1999. From 2011–12, she served as the deputy assistant attorney general for economic analysis (chief economist) at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she helped enforce U.S. antitrust laws. She founded the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale, which brings together students and scholars from across Yale for research related to competition policy and antitrust enforcement.
In 2019, Scott Morton launched the Digital Economy Project at the Tobin Center for Economic Policy, an initiative that seeks to accelerate economic understanding of digital markets. David Wilkinson, the executive director of the Tobin Center, commented: “Fiona’s extensive knowledge and direct policy expertise on the risks associated with dominant digital platforms make her the ideal pick for the European Commission. She launched and contributed extensively to our Digital Economy Project, which has already produced high quality digital market research and policy analysis and will continue to be a priority for the Tobin Center.”
In her recent academic work, Scott Morton has explored how the United States could enforce its antitrust laws against Google and Facebook, and led the committee that produced an influential report on the competition implications of digital platforms. She also co-authored work that exposed the practice of surprise medical billing and led to federal legislation addressing the problem.