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Market Definition in EU Competition Law

Miguel S. Ferro

The maintenance of a fair, competitive market among member states is critical to the functioning of the EU economy. In this book, the first comprehensive, unifying view of market definition, Miguel Ferro adeptly explores the different economic-legal issues that arise in EU competition law.
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Chapter 9: Specific challenges of certain markets

Miguel S. Ferro


This chapter builds on the general methodological issues addressed in Chapter 5, and on the criteria for definition of product, geographic and temporal markets in Chapters 6 to 8, focusing specifically on how specific market definition challenges have been tackled in EU competition law. It begins by tackling markets where interchangeability between products or areas is unidirectional or asymmetrical. It then looks at two-sided markets (involving bilateral or multilateral platforms), an issue where EU case-law has arrived at different results from American case-law. It goes on to discuss free products, arguing that, under current case-law, there is no such thing as a market for a ‘free’ product/service, and that such products/services can generally not be included in markets alongside paid ones. However, it is argued that this is often unnecessary to ensure the attainment of competition policy objectives and that supply of free products/services may, in certain cases, be the subject of obligations arising from the enforcement of competition law. Further sections are devoted to market definition in the presence of chains of interchangeability, of exclusive rights, and of markets organized through tenders, concluding with the impact upon market definition of the possibility of discrimination between clients.

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