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Industry characteristics and anti-competitive behavior: Evidence from the EU

Jordi Gual and Nuria Mas ()
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Jordi Gual: IESE Business School, Postal: Research Division, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
Nuria Mas: IESE Business School, Postal: Research Division, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN

No D/687, IESE Research Papers from IESE Business School

Abstract: In the EU, competition policy is based on three main pillars: antitrust, merger control and monitoring state aid. Our analysis focuses on antitrust policy. In this context, the Commission is concerned about restrictive agreements and practices that imply an abuse of market power. The objective of this paper is to analyze what are the main criteria used by the Commission when deciding on anti-competitive practices. In particular, our goal is to determine whether and to what extent the Commission takes into account economic analysis when deciding whether anti-competitive behavior has taken place. There is a very extensive industrial organization literature which provides the theoretical and empirical background that associates industry features with the likelihood of practices that restrict competition. However, the literature evaluating the competition authority's decisions is much scarcer and has focused mainly on the analysis of merger policy. Our paper contributes to fill this gap in the literature. We examine almost 2,000 cases submitted to the Commission for consideration from January 1999 to February 2004 with the aim of determining which industry characteristics led the Commission to decide against an investigated firm on antitrust grounds.

Keywords: Competition policy; Antitrust; European Commission; Mergers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2007-03-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-com, nep-cse and nep-eec
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