Edited by Ioannis Lianos and Damien Geradin
Chapter 9: Abuse of dominance – exploitative abuses
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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