Économie et politique de la concurrence, Emmanuel COMBE

Emmanuel Combe

This section selects books on themes related to competition laws and economics. This compilation does not attempt to be exhaustive but rather a survey of themes important in the area. The survey usually covers publication over the last three months after publication of the latest issue of Concurrences. Publishers, authors and editors are welcome to send books to catherine.prieto@univ-paris1.fr for review in this section.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article in French, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article.

The Economie et politique de la concurrence (Economics and competition policy) by Emmanuel Combe, vice-president of the French Competition Authority and professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, is a must-read for any practitioner or student wishing to learn more about the fundamentals of competition law. The author endeavours to present the objectives and tools of this branch of law in order to provide a good understanding of the contemporary challenges of competition policy. The key elements for understanding the subject are presented in a pedagogical manner. The author uses models accessible to non-economists and illustrates his remarks with concrete numerical examples. This book, in six parts, offers the reader the opportunity to become familiar with the economic approach of this interdisciplinary subject.

The first part of this book presents the way competition is understood by the different currents of economic thought. From the structuralist model of the Harvard School to the criticisms made by the Chicago School, the author successively analyses these different models. He explains how the enrichment and progressive evolution of these different models have led to a redefinition of the objectives of antitrust action.

In the second part, the author reviews the state of competition policies around the world. He begins by explaining how competition policy, which originated in the United States, has spread to Europe and then recently, but unevenly, to emerging countries. It then outlines the legal and institutional framework within which these policies are implemented and presents the tools available to competition authorities, emphasizing the deterrent role of financial penalties.

The following three parts are dedicated to the economic analysis of anti-competitive practices. Cartel practices are analysed in Chapter III. In this part, the author proposes an economic approach to antitrust sanctions and analyses the role of reparation actions. Finally, the various tools for detecting and proving these practices are detailed. In chapter IV, he presents the different mechanisms of vertical agreements and demonstrates the interest of resorting to such practices. It goes into more detail on resale price maintenance practices and vertical restraints on online sales. Finally, it looks at the issue of technology cartels and their treatment by competition authorities. Finally, after a brief reminder on the assessment of the concept of "dominant position", the author proposes, in a chapter V, an economic analysis of the different behaviours that can lead to the qualification of abuse of a dominant position.

The last chapter is dedicated to concentration control. The author details the procedural aspect of control and then the steps of the economic analysis carried out by the competition authorities in order to determine the impact of the transactions notified to them. To this end, the author returns in particular to the notion of "relevant market" and the criteria for determining it.

Finally, the author concludes his book by presenting the current challenges facing competition policy. He begins by addressing the issues raised by the development of digital markets, whose characteristics are leading to the rapid creation of super-dominant positions. The author then discusses the question of the effectiveness of national and regional competition policies in the face of a globalized economy. Finally, he presents the main lines of the debate on the articulation between competition policy and industrial policy, revived by the recent Siemens-Alstom case.

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  • University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne


Elsa Haïm, Économie et politique de la concurrence, Emmanuel COMBE, May 2020, Concurrences N° 2-2020, Art. N° 94125, p. 273

Publisher Dalloz

Date 29 January 2020

Number of pages 548

Visites 113

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