The prohibition against excessive pricing dates back to the years of Babylonian King Hammurabi. Nevertheless, the prohibition is described by many as being “controversial” and against “mainstream economics”, which is why it should be applied rather sparsely. It has also rather routinely been claimed that the actual number of excessive pricing cases is “scarce”, “limited” and so on. Despite the historical roots, and even though the prohibition represents what many laypeople (and scholars) would understand as the prima facie function of competition law, the prohibition in many textbooks and commentary is still described as an “oddity.” This assertion, although recurrent in certain judgments and political documents, is quantitatively false. As this article concludes, cases of excessive prices in European competition law are not rare. Without being exhaustive, this article reports 28 cases at the European level and 99 cases at the national level between 1971 and 2021.
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