Abusive Practices in Competition Law
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Abusive Practices in Competition Law

Edited by Fabiana Di Porto and Rupprecht Podszun

Abusive Practices in Competition Law tackles the difficult questions presented to competition lawyers and economists regarding abusive practices: where and when is the red line crossed in competitive advances? When is a company explicitly dominant? How do you handle those who hold superior bargaining power over others but are not classed as dominant?
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Chapter 12: Ex ante and ex post control of buyer power

Stefan Thomas


The economic ambivalence of buyer power lies in its inherent potential to create efficiencies by reducing input costs. An antitrust policy which focuses exclusively on the reduction of competition on an input market is therefore prone to miss out on the consumer benefits created by powerful buyers. While a mere rent shifting from suppliers to downstream customers should not be objectionable under a consumer welfare approach, the exercise of buyer power may nonetheless be inclined to support downstream monopolization in the long run. Weighing those pro- and anticompetitive effects is an intricate issue. Can the Gordian Knot be cut by recognizing ‘supplier welfare’ as an additional goal for antitrust policy? The present chapter hones in on these issues under Article 102 TFEU, taking into consideration the stances of the US agencies.

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