Monday, January 25, 2016
MARGIN SQUEEZE: AN ABOVE-COST PREDATORY PRICING APPROACH
Germain Gaudin, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, Heinrich Heine University and Despoina Mantzari, School of Law, University of Reading examine MARGIN SQUEEZE: AN ABOVE-COST PREDATORY PRICING APPROACH.
ABSTRACT: We provide a new legal perspective for the antitrust analysis of margin squeeze conducts. Building on recent economic analysis, we explain why margin squeeze conducts should solely be evaluated under adjusted predatory pricing standards. The adjustment corresponds to an increase in the cost benchmark used in the predatory pricing test by including opportunity costs due to missed upstream sales. This can reduce both the risks of false positives and false negatives in margin squeeze cases. We justify this approach by explaining why classic arguments against above-cost predatory pricing typically do not hold in vertical structures where margin squeezes take place and by presenting case law evidence supporting this adjustment. Our approach can help to reconcile the divergent U.S. and EU antitrust stances on margin squeeze.