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Chapter

Cover Competition Law

1. Competition policy and economics  

This chapter provides an overview of competition law and its economic context. Section 2 describes the practices that competition laws attempt to control in order to protect the competition process. Section 3 examines the theory of competition and gives an introductory account of why the effective enforcement of competition law is thought to be beneficial for consumer welfare. Section 4 considers the expected functions of a system of competition law. Section 5 then introduces two key economic concepts, market definition and market power, that are important to a better understanding of competition policy. The chapter concludes with a table of market share figures that are significant in the application of EU and UK competition law.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

22. Mergers (3): UK law  

This chapter provides an overview of the UK system of merger control and explains the procedure of the Competition and Markets Authority (‘the CMA’) when determining whether a merger should be referred for an in-depth ‘Phase 2’ investigation and when deciding to accept ‘undertakings in lieu’ of a reference. It describes how Phase 2 investigations are conducted and discusses the way in which the CMA applies the ‘substantially lessening competition’ (‘SLC’) test in practice. It then explains the enforcement powers in the Enterprise Act 2002, including the remedies that the CMA can impose in merger cases, and discusses various supplementary matters, such as powers of investigation and enforcement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the merger control provisions work in practice and provides a brief account of the provisions on public interest cases, other special cases and mergers in the water industry.

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

3. Market Power, Market Definition, and Barriers to Entry  

Market power is a central concept in EU competition law. This chapter considers what is meant by market power and how it is assessed in EU law using market definition and barriers to entry analysis. It discusses how markets are defined in EU law by looking at demand substitution, supply substitution, and potential competition. It explains that markets may have both a product and a geographic dimension. The chapter examines the Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market, the decisional practice of the Commission, and the case law of the EU Courts on market definition, and it discusses what tests may be employed in the definition of markets, particularly the SSNIP test. The chapter then considers how the power of a firm on a market is affected by barriers to entry. It discusses the definition of a barrier to entry and considers barriers to entry such as sunk costs, structural barriers, and strategic barriers,

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

6. Article 102 TFEU: Introduction and Dominant Position  

Article 102 TFEU deals with the unilateral conduct of undertakings with substantial market power. It thus prohibits one or more undertakings which hold a dominant position in the internal market or a substantial part of it abusing that position insofar as it may affect inter-Member State trade. This chapter discusses the role of Article 102 and the controversy attending its application, and introduces the elements which must be established before the prohibition applies. The Commission’s review of Article 102 and the publication of its Guidance Paper on enforcement priorities, and the relationship between Article 102 and Article 101, are also considered. The chapter then explores in detail one of the principal limbs of the Article 102 prohibition, namely the concept of an undertaking holding a ‘dominant position’ in a relevant market. The definition of a dominant position in the case law of the Court is discussed, alongside its relation to the concept of substantial market power, including the Commission’s treatment in the Guidance Paper. The chapter then considers how dominance is established, addressing, inter aliai, the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Article 102; the role of market share in establishing dominance; barriers to entry and other factors indicating dominance; and dominant positions in the digital economy. Article 102

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

21. Mergers (2): EU law  

This chapter provides an overview of EU merger control and the jurisdictional rules which determine whether a particular merger should be investigated by the European Commission or by the national competition authorities. It deals with procedural considerations such as the mandatory pre-notification to the Commission of mergers that have a Union dimension and the timetable within which the Commission must operate. It discusses the substantive analysis of mergers under the EU Merger Regulation (‘the EUMR’) and explains the procedure for the Commission to authorise a merger on the basis of commitments offered by the parties to address its competition concerns. Finally, it describes the Commission’s powers of investigation and enforcement, judicial review of Commission decisions by the EU Courts and cooperation between the Commission and other competition authorities, both within and outside the EU. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the EUMR merger control provisions work in practice.

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

3. Market Power, Market Definition, and Barriers to Entry  

Alison Jones, Brenda Sufrin, and Niamh Dunne

Market power is a central concept in EU competition law. This chapter considers what is meant by market power and how it is assessed in EU law using market definition and barriers to entry analysis. It discusses how markets are defined in EU law by looking at demand substitution, supply substitution, and potential competition. It explains that markets may have both a product and a geographic dimension. The chapter examines the draft new Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market to replace the 1997 Notice, the decisional practice of the Commission, and the case law of the EU Courts on market definition, and it discusses what tests may be employed in the definition of markets, particularly the SSNIP test. The chapter then considers how the power of a firm on a market is affected by barriers to entry. It discusses the definition of a barrier to entry and considers barriers to entry such as sunk costs, structural barriers, and strategic barriers,

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

6. Article 102 TFEU: Introduction and Dominant Position  

Alison Jones, Brenda Sufrin, and Niamh Dunne

Article 102 TFEU deals with the unilateral conduct of undertakings with substantial market power. It thus prohibits one or more undertakings which hold a dominant position in the internal market, or a substantial part of it, abusing that position insofar as it may affect inter-Member State trade. This chapter discusses the role of Article 102 and the controversy attending its application, and introduces the elements which must be established before the prohibition applies. The Commission’s review of Article 102, the publication of its Guidance Paper on enforcement priorities and subsequent amendments to this document, and the relationship between Article 102 and Article 101, are considered. The chapter also explores in detail one of the principal limbs of the Article 102 prohibition, namely the concept of an undertaking holding a ‘dominant position’ in a relevant market. The definition of a dominant position in the case law of the Court is discussed, alongside its relation to the concept of substantial market power. The chapter then considers how dominance is established, addressing, inter alia, the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Article 102; the role of market share in establishing dominance; and barriers to entry and other factors indicating dominance.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK

16. An analysis of the principal abusive practices  

This chapter focuses on the most important pricing and non-pricing practices, which together constitute the larger part of the anti-competitive and exploitative abuses of dominant firms. The types of conduct considered abusive of market power are similar under most competition regimes, and include both pricing and non-pricing practices. The ‘form-based’ analysis of abusive practices is progressively shifting to an ‘effects-based approach’. In the EU and the UK, both exclusionary and exploitative abuses may fall foul of the relevant competition law provisions. Exclusionary practices are usually considered abusive when they are likely to lead to ‘anticompetitive foreclosure’. The EU and UK law and practice in relation to all these potential abuses is and will remain aligned until the UK has formally left the EU.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

1. Competition policy and economics  

This chapter provides an overview of competition law and its economic context. Section 2 describes the practices that competition laws attempt to control in order to protect the competition process. Section 3 examines the theory of competition and gives an introductory account of why the effective enforcement of competition law is thought to be beneficial. Section 4 considers the goals of competition law. Section 5 introduces two key economic concepts, market definition and market power, that are important to a better understanding of competition policy. The chapter concludes with a table of market share figures that are significant in the application of EU and UK competition law, while reminding the reader that market shares are only ever a proxy for market power and can never be determinative of market power in themselves.

Book

Cover Competition Law

Richard Whish and David Bailey

The book explains the purpose of competition policy, introduces the reader to key concepts and techniques in competition law and provides insights into the numerous different issues that arise when analysing market behaviour. Describing the law in its economics and market context, the chapters particularly consider the competition law implications of business phenomena, including distribution agreements, licences of intellectual property rights, cartels, joint ventures and mergers. The book assimilates a wide variety of resources, including judgments, decisions, guidelines and periodical literature. The text has been updated to include the changes to UK law introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, including the reform of collective actions. It also considers the Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions and other measures designed to facilitate private enforcement of competition law. The book also discusses for the first time the application of competition law to price signalling, algorithmic collusion and other atypical cartel activities; it also incorporates extensive new case law and decisional practice at EU and UK level.

Book

Cover Competition Law

Richard Whish and David Bailey

Competition Law explains competition law and policy in the EU and UK. The intention is to provide the reader with an understanding of competition law and policy, to introduce the reader to key economic concepts, legal principles and tools in competition law, and to provide insights into the numerous different issues that arise when applying competition law to market behaviour. Describing the economic rationale for the law, the chapters consider the application of EU and UK competition law to various business practices, including cartels, cooperation agreements, distribution agreements, licences of intellectual property rights, joint ventures, and mergers. The text has been updated to include the changes to UK law as a consequence of Brexit. It discusses for the first time the rise of powerful digital platforms and the quest for a suitable competition law and regulatory response to this phenomenon. It also considers the implications of the European Green Deal and the sustainability agenda for EU competition law and practice. The text incorporates extensive new legislation, case-law, decisional practice, guidelines and periodical literature at EU and UK level.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

5. Article 102  

This chapter discusses the main features of Article 102 of the Treaty of Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which is concerned with the abusive conduct of dominant firms. It begins by discussing the meaning of ‘undertaking’ and ‘effect on trade between Member States’ in the context of Article 102. It then considers what is meant by a dominant position and looks at the requirement that any dominant position must be held in a substantial part of the internal market. Thereafter it discusses some general considerations relevant to the concept of abuse of dominance, followed by an explanation of what is meant by ‘exploitative’, ‘exclusionary’ and ‘single market’ abuses. It then discusses possible defences to allegations of abuse, and concludes by considering the consequences of infringing Article 102.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

21. Mergers (2): EU law  

This chapter examines EU merger control. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of EU merger control. Section 3 discusses the jurisdictional rules which determine whether a particular merger should be investigated by the European Commission in Brussels or by the national competition authorities (‘the NCAs’) of the Member States. Section 4 deals with the procedural considerations such as the mandatory pre-notification to the Commission of mergers that have a Union dimension and the timetable within which the Commission must operate. Section 5 discusses the substantive analysis of mergers under the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), and section 6 explains the procedure whereby the Commission may authorise a merger on the basis of commitments, often referred to as remedies, offered by the parties to address its competition concerns. The subsequent sections describe the Commission’s powers of investigation and enforcement, judicial review of Commission decisions by the EU Courts and cooperation between the Commission and other competition authorities, both within and outside the EU. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the EUMR merger control provisions work in practice.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

16. Vertical agreements  

This chapter examines the application of Article 101 TFEU and the Chapter I prohibition in the UK Competition Act 1998 to distribution agreements. The chapter begins with a discussion of distribution chains in the modern economy, looking at the various ways in which producers market their goods or services to consumers; these have been enormously enhanced by the emergence of the digital economy. This is followed by sections on how the law applies to producers carrying on their own distribution function (‘vertical integration’), commercial agency and vertical sub-contracting relationships. It discusses the competition policy considerations raised by distribution agreements, and explains the application of Article 101 to various different types of distribution agreements. This is followed by a section on the provisions of Regulation 330/2010, the block exemption for distribution agreements, and the individual application of Article 101(3) to distribution agreements. The chapter then contains sections on Regulation 461/2010 on motor vehicle distribution. Finally, it deals with the application of the Chapter I prohibition in the UK Competition Act 1998 to distribution agreements.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

22. Mergers (3): UK  

This chapter discusses UK law on the control of mergers. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of the domestic system of merger control. Section 3 explains the procedure of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) when determining whether a merger should be referred for an in-depth ‘Phase 2’ investigation and when deciding to accept ‘undertakings in lieu’ of a reference. Section 4 describes how Phase 2 investigations are conducted and Section 5 discusses the ‘substantially lessening competition’ (‘SLC’) test. Section 6 explains the enforcement powers in the Enterprise Act 2002, including the remedies that the CMA can impose in merger cases. The subsequent sections discuss various supplementary matters, such as powers of investigation and enforcement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the merger control provisions work in practice and a brief account of the provisions on public interest cases, other special cases and mergers in the water industry. The withdrawal by the UK from the EU means that many mergers that were subject to a ‘one-stop shop’ under EU law are now subject to investigation in the UK as well.