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Collective dominance in competion law

Filippelli, Marilena (2008) Collective dominance in competion law. Advisor: Libertini, Prof. Mario. pp. 370. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

This thesis analyses how competition law deals with the category of collective dominance. Collective dominance describes a market situation where more firms, by acting together as if they were a single entity, jointly exert market power. This phenomenon is relevant in the preventive control of mergers and in the repressive control of abuses of dominant position and it usually involves oligopolistic markets. The economic framework of my analysis is the Game theory. This thesis consists of three parts. In the first part, I analyse the evolution of collective dominance in the European competition law. In this exposition, I follow a chronological order, at the scope of highlighting the mutual influence between abuses of dominance and mergers. In the second part, I analyse how the US competition policy has approached the matter of oligopolistic parallelism. In this case, I distinguish ex post and ex ante control on tacit collusion, because the different theoretical framework, especially in terms of economic theories, which characterizes the preventive and repressive control on collusion, results in different antitrust policies. As a conclusion of parts 1 and 2, I compare the results obtained in the two systems and I seek to demonstrate that their relationship, with regard to collective dominance, is, at once, one of tension and overlap. In the third part, I propose a solution to deal with collective dominance. First of all, I remark the complexity of the category at issue and, for this reason, I define collective dominance in a conceptual and classificatory way. Then, I suggest addressing the matter of post-merger coordination by a three-step test, which focuses in the firms' ability to stably collude, on the convenience of colluding, and on the incapability of addressing the competitive concerns by the parties' commitments. In this scenario, prohibitions constitute an extreme solution. With regard to the abuses, I distinguish the case of collective dominance coming from the mere oligopolistic parallelism from the other sources. As for the latter, I critically analyses the relationship between articles 81 and 82 in the area of collective dominance; as for the first, I suggest bringing tacit collusion within the control of article 82, on the grounds of the objective notion of abuses. I also argue that the category of tacit collusion should also embrace the phenomenon of semi-collusion, when they leas to the same outcome. Finally, with regard to the possible remedies, I emphasize the role of injunctions in the case of anti-competitive oligopolistic parallelism, together with the possibility for competition authorities to impose monetary sanctions, whenever they find out culpable conducts.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
PhD Course: Economics, Markets, Institutions
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/39
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 10:11
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/39

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