Handbook on European Competition Law

Handbook on European Competition Law

Substantive Aspects

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ioannis Lianos and Damien Geradin

Handbook on European Competition Law: Substantive Aspects sets the context for examination of substantive law by reviewing and analyzing the goals of competition law. It then covers the substantive building blocks of EU competition law, including horizontal and vertical agreements, cartels, mergers, and also provides valuable coverage of the interaction between competition and regulation, hub and spoke collusion, and information exchange agreements. The importance of the abuse of dominance doctrine is reflected in three discrete chapters considering exploitative abuses, exclusionary pricing abuses, and exclusionary non-pricing abuses.

Chapter 9: Abuse of dominance – exploitative abuses

Michal S. Gal

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


Article 102 TFEU has been interpreted by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as prohibiting not only exclusionary abuses, but also exploitative ones. In particular, sub-section (a), which prohibits ‘directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices’ by a dominant firm, has been understood as proscribing not only unfair low prices (predatory prices) but also unfair high prices per se, that is without need of proof of anti-competitive conduct or intent. The prohibition against excessive prices, as it has come to be known, is one of the most intriguing competition law prohibitions. Its analysis involves a moral, economic and sociological exploration, with long historical roots. Such regulation encapsulates issues such as the goals and the underpinnings of competition law; the equilibrium point which is adopted to balance between the forces of Darwinian capitalism and those of social justice; the role of government regulation; the balance between practical problems and theoretical principles; and the assumptions regarding the relative administrability of various types of regulation.

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