Excessive Prices: Using Economics to Define Administrable Legal Rules
AbstractEuropean competition laws condemn as ‘exploitative abuses’ the pricing policies of dominant firms that may result in a direct loss of consumer welfare. Article 82(a) of the EC Treaty, for example, expressly states that imposing ‘unfair’ prices on consumers by dominant suppliers constitutes an abuse. Several firms have been found to abuse their dominant positions by charging excessive prices in cases brought by the European Commission and the competition authorities of several Member States. Those cases show that the assessment of excessive pricing is subject to substantial conceptual and practical difficulties, and that any policy that seeks to detect and prohibit excessive prices is likely to yield incorrect predictions in numerous instances. In this Paper we evaluate the pros and cons of alternative legal standards towards excessive pricing by explicitly considering the likelihood of false convictions/acquittals and the costs associated with those errors. We find that the legal standard that maximizes long-term consumer welfare given the information typically available to regulators would involve no ex post intervention on the pricing decisions of dominant firms. A possible exception to this general rule is discussed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4626.
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- David S. Evans & A. Jorge Padilla, 2004. "Excessive Prices: Using Economics To Define Administrable Legal Rules," Working Papers wp2004_0416, CEMFI.
- K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
- L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Jose Ceron & Javier Suarez, 2006.
"Hot And Cold Housing Markets: International Evidence,"
- Ceron, Jose A. & Suarez, Javier, 2006. "Hot and Cold Housing Markets: International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5411, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006.
"Flat Tax Reforms In The U.S.: A Boon For The Income Poor,"
- Díaz-Giménez, Javier & Pijoan-Mas, Josep, 2006. "Flat Tax Reforms in the US: A Boon for the Income Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat Tax Reforms in the U.S.: a Boon for the Income Poor," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 400, Society for Computational Economics.
- Beatriz Dominguez & Juan-José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2006.
"R&D In The Pharmaceutical Industry: A World Of Small Innovation,"
- Juan-José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet & Beatriz Domínguez, 2009. "R& D in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A World of Small Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 539-551, April.
- Beatriz Domínguez & Juan José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2005. "R&D in the pharmaceutical industry: A world of small innovations," Economics Working Papers 936, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Elizalde, Abel & Repullo, Rafael, 2004.
"Economic and Regulatory Capital: What is the Difference?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Abel Elizalde & Rafael Repullo, 2004. "Economic And Regulatory Capital. What Is The Difference?," Working Papers wp2004_0422, CEMFI.
- Aleix Calveras & Juan José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2005.
"Regulation and opportunism: How much activism do we need?,"
Economics Working Papers
935, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Aleix Calveras & Juan-José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2005. "Regulation And Opportunism: How Much Activism Do We Need?," Working Papers wp2005_0508, CEMFI.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.