Economics and the Enforcement of European Competition Law

Economics and the Enforcement of European Competition Law

Christopher Decker

Recent years have seen a trend toward an ‘economics-based’ approach to the enforcement of European competition law. But what is meant by ‘economics-based’, and how does this approach sit with legal and enforcement practice? This book seeks to place in perspective the growing use of economics in European competition law enforcement by examining precisely how economics contributes to the enforcement activity of the European Commission and Courts.

Chapter 5: Economics in the enforcement process

Christopher Decker

Subjects: economics and finance, competition policy, law - academic, competition and antitrust law, european law

Extract

5.1 INTRODUCTION In Chapter 4 we examined the extent to which economics features in the reported decisions of the Commission and Courts in collective dominance cases. This chapter looks beyond the reported decisions to understand the role and influence of economics in the process of enforcement surrounding and leading up to these final determinations. Specifically, it considers where economics is used in the selection of cases for investigation, the construction of those cases by the Commission and the parties under investigation, in reaching a final decision, and in developing remedies. The role of economics in appeals before the European Courts is also examined. The methodology for the research in this chapter is described in Chapter 2. Although focused on the use of economics in the enforcement of the collective dominance laws, this examination has potential relevance to other areas of competition law enforcement where economics is used. This is because the enforcement process and procedures under the ECMR and Article 82 in collective dominance investigations is similar to other areas of competition law enforcement such as unilateral effects merger investigations and single abuse of dominance cases under Article 82. 5.2 MERGER ENFORCEMENT PROCESS: THE COMMISSION Parties to proposed concentrations which satisfy certain requirements must notify an intention to merge to the European Commission.1 Upon notification, the Commission has 25 working days to undertake a ‘Phase I’ investigation of 1 Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings [2004] OJ...

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