Saturday, October 23, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Thomas Ackermann (University of Munich) argues Vodafone: Price Regulation as a Substitute for Intervention under Article 102 TFEU.
ABSTRACT: Article 102(2)(a) TFEU states that abusive conduct may consist in imposing unfair prices or trading conditions. However, decisions prohibiting exploitative prices under Article 102 TFEU are scarce for a number of reasons. First, in the absence of barriers to entry, markets can generally be trusted to bring down excessive prices. This calls at least for a certain measure of self-restraint with regard to legal intervention. Secondly, standards for the assessment of the exploitative nature of high prices are notoriously difficult to find and to apply. Thirdly, even if prices are found to be exploitative it remains open to doubt how such abuses can be effectively remedied. Finally, the situation becomes even more complex if supra-competitive prices are not charged by a single dominant firm, but by oligopolists so that the additional issue of collective dominance arises.