Thursday, September 24, 2015

Behavioural Antitrust - A 'More Realistic Approach' to Competition Law

Andreas Heinemann, University of Zurich describes Behavioural Antitrust - A 'More Realistic Approach' to Competition Law.

ABSTRACT: The paper explores the potential of behavioural economics for competition law. After a summary of the most important behavioural findings from a competition law perspective, several applications are presented. Behavioural economics does not only influence basic concepts like the definition of relevant markets but also affects the competition law analysis of specific conduct like vertical agreements, practices on aftermarkets, tying and bundling, conditional rebates, predatory pricing and merger control. Moreover, the behavioural insights have an impact on the shaping of remedies and sanctions. In spite of these consequences, it seems more appropriate to describe this development as a “behavioural turn” than a “behavioural revolution” since traditional analysis is not replaced but complemented. Therefore, the new insights can be integrated into the existing system without major frictions. Although the behavioural approach more often makes a case for enforcement than against it, it cannot be blamed for greater interventionism. The goal of the “more realistic approach” is, no more and no less, to base competition law on a more reliable foundation.

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