Edited by Lorenzo Federico Pace
Chapter 4: Evolving Priorities and Rising Standards: Spanish Law on Abuses of Market Power in the Light of the 2008 Guidance Paper on Article 82 EC
Luis Ortiz Blanco and Pablo Ibáñez Colomo 1 INTRODUCTION The interpretation and implementation of provisions dealing with abuses of market power have proven to be by far the most controversial issues in substantive competition law. Broad consensus at the international level has been reached, for instance, in the field of merger control, where the influence of economic analysis has led to the adoption by competition authorities of an ex ante analytical framework for each operation.1 As for agreements between undertakings, the prohibition on price-fixing and market-sharing cartels seems as uncontroversial as competition policy in the field of vertical restraints, where the sources of potential competition concerns are now clearly identified and codified.2 The authors wish to thank the Garrigues Competition Team in Madrid for excellent research and documentation assistance. Translations from Spanish are the authors’. 1 After a new merger control regulation was introduced in 2004 (Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings OJ (2004) L 24/1), the European Commission has adopted two sets of guidelines for the assessment of horizontal and non-horizontal mergers, which codify case law and administrative practice and attempt to endorse mainstream economic theory. See Guidelines on the assessment of non-horizontal mergers under the Council Regulation on the control of concentrations between undertakings OJ (2008) C 265/6 and Guidelines on the assessment of horizontal mergers under the Council Regulation on the control of concentrations between undertakings OJ (2004) C 31/5. 2 The shift in the policy...
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