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Regulating Dominance in the EU: When the Law Shapes Markets

Dates:
  • Mon 14 Sep 2020 14.30 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-09-14 14:30 2020-09-14 17:00 Europe/Paris Regulating Dominance in the EU: When the Law Shapes Markets

>>Please note that due to security measures, the room capacity is limited. The defence can also be followed via Zoom. Please contact [email protected] for more information<<

Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is a

controversial provision which has led to cases deemed over-reaching by many

commentators. It has been argued that the law on abuse of dominance is used in an

instrumental manner in order to pursue regulatory objectives. According to these critics,

the scope of competition law would be extended beyond its legitimate boundaries. I argue

that this argument relies on a narrow conception of competition law, which does not

capture the actual scope of the EU law on abuse of dominant position. This thesis aims to

assess the scope of the law by studying whether Article 102 can be used to create more

competition in markets or whether it should be confined to the protection of competition.

The EU law on abuse of dominant position is analysed by comparing its features to that of

the theoretical conceptions of competition law and economic regulation respectively. The

study of the Treaty, the case-law and the administrative practice of the Commission shows

that the law on Article 102 is a hybrid between law and regulation. In contrast to the

narrow orthodox conception of competition law, the scope of Article 102 always extended

beyond the mere protection of competition. The law includes in its objectives the

promotion of a specific competitive structure. A coherent set of rules and enforcement

mechanisms has been designed to achieve this goal. The regulatory aspects of competition

law, therefore, are not artificial by-products but part of EU law regulating dominance.

The large scope of the law on abuse of dominant position indicates the EU choice to

establish a rather interventionist legal regime in order to shape more competitive

markets. The EU institutions have a functional approach to competition law and use the

law to implement their idea of effective competition. Two case studies, in the energy

sector and the digital markets, illustrate how the regulatory features of EU competition

law are used to translate the EU policy objectives into enforcement practices. This thesis

concludes that while the European conception of competition law is not objectionable as

such, the Commission should better explain the circumstances under which the

regulatory features of Article 102 apply.

Sala degli Stemmi - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi - Villa Salviati- Castle

>>Please note that due to security measures, the room capacity is limited. The defence can also be followed via Zoom. Please contact [email protected] for more information<<

Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is a

controversial provision which has led to cases deemed over-reaching by many

commentators. It has been argued that the law on abuse of dominance is used in an

instrumental manner in order to pursue regulatory objectives. According to these critics,

the scope of competition law would be extended beyond its legitimate boundaries. I argue

that this argument relies on a narrow conception of competition law, which does not

capture the actual scope of the EU law on abuse of dominant position. This thesis aims to

assess the scope of the law by studying whether Article 102 can be used to create more

competition in markets or whether it should be confined to the protection of competition.

The EU law on abuse of dominant position is analysed by comparing its features to that of

the theoretical conceptions of competition law and economic regulation respectively. The

study of the Treaty, the case-law and the administrative practice of the Commission shows

that the law on Article 102 is a hybrid between law and regulation. In contrast to the

narrow orthodox conception of competition law, the scope of Article 102 always extended

beyond the mere protection of competition. The law includes in its objectives the

promotion of a specific competitive structure. A coherent set of rules and enforcement

mechanisms has been designed to achieve this goal. The regulatory aspects of competition

law, therefore, are not artificial by-products but part of EU law regulating dominance.

The large scope of the law on abuse of dominant position indicates the EU choice to

establish a rather interventionist legal regime in order to shape more competitive

markets. The EU institutions have a functional approach to competition law and use the

law to implement their idea of effective competition. Two case studies, in the energy

sector and the digital markets, illustrate how the regulatory features of EU competition

law are used to translate the EU policy objectives into enforcement practices. This thesis

concludes that while the European conception of competition law is not objectionable as

such, the Commission should better explain the circumstances under which the

regulatory features of Article 102 apply.


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of Law

Type:
Thesis defence

Contact:
Valeria Raso - Send a mail

Supervisor:
Prof. Giorgio Monti (Tilburg University)

Defendant:
Alice Noguier (EUI - Law)

Examiner:
Prof Nicolas Petit (EUI - Department of Law)
Prof. Frédéric Jenny (ESSEC Business School, Paris)
Lars Henriksson (Stockholm School of Economics)

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