Tuesday, December 20, 2016
On the Use of Price-Cost Tests in Loyalty Discounts and Exclusive Dealing Arrangements: Which Implications from Economic Theory?
Chiara Fumagalli, Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and Massimo Motta, Universitat Pompeu Fabra ask On the Use of Price-Cost Tests in Loyalty Discounts and Exclusive Dealing Arrangements: Which Implications from Economic Theory?
ABSTRACT: Recent cases in the US (Meritor, Eisai) and in the EU (Intel ) have revived the debate on the use of price-cost tests in loyalty discount cases. We draw on existing recent economic theories of exclusion and develop new formal material to argue that economics alone does not justify applying a price-cost test to predation but not to loyalty discounts. Still, the latter contain features (they reference rivals and allow to discriminate across buyers and/or units bought) that have a higher exclusionary potential than the former, and this may well warrant closer scrutiny and more severe treatment from antitrust agencies and courts.