Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Old abuses in new markets? Dealing with excessive pricing by a two-sided platform

Zeynep Ayata asks Old abuses in new markets? Dealing with excessive pricing by a two-sided platform.

ABSTRACT: Exploitative abuses, especially excessive pricing, have been one of the most debated forms of abuse of dominant position. Unlike exclusionary abuses, they have been prohibited only under certain jurisdictions and on rather rare occasions. In Europe there have been few recent decisions and investigations that have reiterated existing approaches and tests for establishing excessive pricing. The Turkish Competition Authority’s decision has come at such a time where the discussion on excessive pricing has been somewhat revived. However, this decision stands out as it is the first one where a competition authority has found prices to be excessive and therefore abusive in the context of a two-sided platform. Competition in platform markets display unique dynamics that may be very different from what may be observed in traditional markets especially in terms of pricing strategies. This article aims to demonstrate, through the Turkish Competition Authority’s recent decision, the difficulties in applying existing tests and criteria on excessive pricing to a two-sided platform. A thorough analysis of this decision demonstrates that competition enforcement in what may be called ‘new’ platform markets necessitates new approaches or adjustments of existing ones.

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