Economic Principles for the Enforcement of Abuse of Dominance Provisions


The European Commission (EC) has recently announced its intention to issue Guidelines on exclusionary abuses. In this paper, we explain how economics can and should be used to inform a sound and effects-based approach in the enforcement of Article 102 TFEU. In particular, the EC should be guided only by a consumer welfare standard; exclusive dealing and exclusivity rebates should be subject to a (rebuttable) presumption of harm; price-cost tests are meaningful only for predation and other practices which do not reference rivals; essentiality of the input should not be a requirement for vertical foreclosure cases of any type, but such cases should be limited only to dominant firms that satisfy certain criteria.