Economic Developments in Article 102
27 May 2010
Hosted By: IBC Legal Conferences
NERA Director Dr. Mark Williams spoke at IBC's 5th Advanced Review of Competition Economics, held on London on 27 May 2010. His presentation was on economic developments in Article 102 (formerly Article 82) cases.
The analysis of unilateral conduct and abuse-of-dominance cases remains a difficulty and often controversial territory in competition policy. Legal case precedents often sit uncomfortably with economic theory, and the lack of well-established guiding principles renders Article 102 an unsatisfactory area in antitrust. Following the European Commission's 2005 staff discussion paper, the competition policy community awaited a set of guidelines on the enforcement of Article 102. However, in contrast to the guidelines on horizontal and non-horizontal mergers, the eventual publication of guidance on the Commission's "enforcement priorities" for exclusionary abuses under Article 102 was a disappointment to economists and lawyers alike, as well as to companies.
Dr. Williams set out what can be gleaned from the Commission's guidance and recent enforcement action (such as Intel, Rambus, and Microsoft). In addition to outlining the economics underpinning "traditional" abuse-of-dominance cases, he also discussed emerging abuse concepts that may appear more non-standard.
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