Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Giulio Federico (DG Competition) offers his views on SAA II: ABUSE OF DOMINANCE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN SKIES.

ABSTRACT: This article reviews an abuse of dominance decision against the incumbent domestic airline in South Africa (SAA) taken in 2010 and upheld on appeal in 2011. This case placed significant emphasis on the economic impact of the abusive conduct, and it represents a clear example of the adoption of an effects-based approach to assess exclusionary behavior by a dominant firm. As this article sets out, given the features of SAA's conduct and of the relevant market context, it is also possible to identify a coherent economic framework that can explain why SAA's rivals could not profitably match its incentive schemes and were therefore foreclosed. The conceptual issues raised by the SAA case are similar to the ones at stake in the landmark judgments on British Airways. The lessons from this case are therefore relevant to the ongoing antitrust debate on loyalty discounts.

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