Abusive exclusionary conduct: An update

Law & Economics Workshop organized by Concurrences in partnership with McDermott Will & Emery, Compass Lexecon and ECLA.


Emmanuel Combe (Vice-President, Competition Authority)

Eviction practices are not just about abuse. For example, they may result from a horizontal agreement, such as a collective boycott, whose primary purpose is to prevent the entry of a new competitor. But most of the time, they manifest themselves in the form of an abuse of a dominant position, of which they constitute a special case, alongside abuses of discrimination and exploitation.

Dominance is not in itself a problem if it results from competition on the merits. Competition law does not protect competitors, however small they may be, but the competition process, which promotes innovation, provides incentives for greater performance and eliminates unjustified rents, to the benefit of consumers and competitiveness. A practice is not abusive in itself, but it can become abusive if the firm carrying it out has a dominant position. Proof of abuse does not require intent, even if intent is part of the demonstration of abuse. Abuse is assessed on the basis of its competitive, potential and/or actual effects. Abuse may take place in the market where the undertaking is dominant, but also in a related market.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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  • French Competition Authority (Paris)
  • McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
  • Franklin (Paris)
  • McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
  • Compass Lexecon (Paris)
  • European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA)