Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer
Chapter 15: Assessing Anti-Competitive Behavior in a Postal Market
* Mary Davies† 1 INTRODUCTION Liberalization of postal markets within Europe means that increasingly regulators and competition authorities must undertake anti-competitive investigations to assess whether the conduct of incumbent firms is likely to restrict the development of competition in the market. The chapter explores a number of issues at the heart of anti-competitive investigations drawing on experience within both post and other sectors. The application and enforcement of EU and domestic competition legislation may be considered a form of ex post regulation. Claims of anti-competitive behavior can be investigated and where undertakings have breached prohibitions on anti-competitive behavior, action can be taken to impose remedies. Postcomm can investigate license breaches relating to allegations of anti-competitive behavior but must do this in a way that is consistent with established case law. Through case law in the European and domestic courts, competition law precedent has been established. This allows an understanding of the conduct that might be considered abusive and the tests that are likely to be employed to determine whether there has been a breach of competition law. However, each individual case must be assessed on its merits and against the facts as they are found. The evolution of competition law is a dynamic process and may raise unique issues where there is not clearly established case law precedent. Hence there is no one-size-fits-all solution and legal precedents that have been established in certain sectors may not fit easily into other sectors. The chapter draws on what has been learnt from undertaking...
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