Abuse of Market Power* 


  • * 

    This paper originally formed a speech to the 31st conference of the European Assoication for Research in Industrial Economics, in Berlin, on 3 September 2004. I am very grateful to Mark Armstrong, Frances Barr, John Fingleton, Amelia Fletcher, Eleanor Fox, Bill Kovacic, Nic Newling, Ali Nikpay and Richard Whish for many discussions and comments that helped to shape this paper. The views expressed here are personal and not necessarily those of the Office of Fair Trading.


How should competition law deal with anti-competitive behaviour by firms with market power? In the light of recent EC and US cases, this is perhaps the most controversial current issue for competition policy. Lax policy would jeopardise the competitiveness of markets, but rigid policy would chill pro-competitive, pro-consumer conduct. This paper gives an economic assessment of evolving legal standards in the area. The importance of developing a stronger economic basis for EC law on abuse of market dominance is stressed.