ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Josef Drexl, Laurence Idot and Joël Monéger
Chapter 1: Economic Analysis in EU Competition Cases
Hans W Friederiszick* 1 INTRODUCTION Economic analysis has become an integral part of EU competition policy. Competition policy focuses on the negative eﬀects of a measure on competition and trade and balances these with potential positive eﬀects. In this way, counterfactual analysis, market deﬁnition and an eﬀects-based analysis in certain cases are the unifying themes of modern economic analysis as it is applied to competition policy. Economic analysis can play an important role in three diﬀerent ﬁelds: improving existing rules, analysing individual cases and ex-post analysis of the eﬀectiveness of the intervention. This chapter provides an overview of how and when economic analysis can be applied in those areas, based on some current examples. It discusses the limits and the beneﬁts of a more eﬀects-based approach. 2 ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN EU COMPETITION POLICY Economic analysis was marginal to EU competition policy until the late 1980s. Since then, the importance of economic analysis has increased signiﬁcantly. The main feature of this extended reliance on economics is a reassessment of decision making in the light of economic principles – with respect to both better rules and an eﬀects-based, case-speciﬁc analysis in some cases. * The author is a member of the faculty of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), and Managing Director of ESMT Competition Analysis. From 2003 to 2006 he was a member of the team of the Chief Economist at the Directorate General for Competition (DG COMP), European Commission....
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