The Role of Economic Analysis in EU Competition Law: The European School

The Role of Economic Analysis ...

Professor Dr. Dr. Doris Hildebrand

The Role of Economic Analysis in EU Competition Law, in its revised and updated fourth edition, explores the full spectrum of the development of European economic approach in competition law. Almost two decades after the arrival of the ‘more economics based approach’ to EU competition law, this economic school of thought, the European School, has been properly defined and is now in general used among competition law practitioners and their government counterparts. This approach, studied by Doris Hildebrand since the first edition of this now-classic work, implements the European cornerstones of the social market economy concept such as freedom of contract, social fairness, and the equality principle. In this edition, the author uncovers its multiple rationales as it has gradually formulated the legal principles of ‘competition economics’ that have come to underlie all matters related to Article 101 (1), Article 101 (3), Article 102, the Merger Regulation, and the State Aid provisions. As in previous editions, the book’s interdisciplinary approach integrates law and economics in such a way that economics in competition proceedings becomes easier to understand for lawyers not trained in economic theory or economic school of thoughts. It offers an in-depth description of ‘European School’ theories and applications, particularly with respect to vertical and horizontal agreements. In addition, the book provides solid guidance on the definition of the relevant antitrust markets, with a detailed description of the hypothetical monopolist test.

What’s in this book:
Among the fundamental elements discussed are the following:

  • application of economics in the competition test as developed by the EU Courts;
  • concrete economic analysis companies need to perform in order to qualify for an exemption;
  • test procedures to assess whether a certain behaviour constitutes an abuse under Article 102;
  • various methodologies to define markets; contrasting the European and Chicago schools;
  • practical implementation of the EU social market economy objective in EU competition law;
  • workable competition vs. effective competition; changes in the enforcement system;
  • use of evidence in market definition practice; State Aid provisions;
  • and empirical techniques used to evaluate a merger.

All significant cases contributory to the development of European competition economics are discussed and analysed in detail. ‘The Frame’, the first chapter that has been included in this edition, clearly demonstrates all the ways in which EU competition policy represents an essential foundation of the EU. Moreover ‘The Frame’ elaborates that the social market economy objective as defined in the Lisbon Treaty is, from the economic perspective, the appropriate benchmark in any EU competition law assessment. This benchmark requires a holistic approach by taking into account ‘utilities’ of EU citizens instead of focusing on price elements only.

How will this help you:
This new updated and revised edition has been greatly anticipated and will be widely welcomed. The book helps to develop expertise in applying the ‘more economics based approach’ by citing the relevant case law. Competition lawyers, corporate in-house counsel, competition authorities, and courts will appreciate the book’s clear, understandable discussion of the relevant European competition theory, authoritative guidance on the application of economic analysis, and practical insight in dealing with these subjects in real-world cases.