Abuse of Dominance in EU Competition Law
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Abuse of Dominance in EU Competition Law

Emerging Trends

Edited by Pier L. Parcu, Giorgio Monti and Marco Botta

Granting rebates to a customer or refusing to supply a competitor are examples of ordinary commercial practices, which become ‘abusive’ under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) when carried out by ‘dominant’ firms. This topical book provides an up-to-date account of the emerging trends in the enforcement and interpretation of this provision at both the EU and national level.
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Chapter 8: Abuse of dominance in regulated sectors in Italy: recent enforcement trends

Patrick Actis Perinetto and Mel Marquis

Abstract

This chapter examines the approaches of the Italian National Competition Authority (NCA) and the Italian courts when applying the prohibition against abuse of dominance in industries governed by sector-specific regulation (specifically, telecoms, rail transport and pharmaceuticals). On the basis of decisional practice and case law, certain trends seem to emerge. At the level of enforcement by the authority, there appears to be little hesitation to apply competition law, notwithstanding the existence of regulation and regulatory authorities whose task is often, even if technically on different grounds, to resolve the same behavioural issues that are the object of the NCA’s interventions. This consistent and even predictable enforcement trend across different sectors contrasts, however, with the more variable approach of the Italian courts. The courts have in some cases accepted the NCA’s interventions but have rejected others. The chapter traces these developments and attempts to explain the different approaches of the different institutions (regulatory authorities, the NCA and the courts) across the different regulated sectors. Keywords: Italian NCA; Italian courts; pharmaceuticals; rail transport; regulation of network industries; regulatory authorities; telecommunications

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