Essential Facility Access in Us and EU: Drawing a Test for Antitrust Policy
27 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006
Date Written: December 21, 2005
This paper investigates the economic rationale in defining an essential facility also considering the evolution of competition policy decisions in US and EU. In particular, we propose a test to distinguish between an abusive refusal to deal by a dominant firm and the application of the essential facility doctrine. We apply the test to a specific antitrust case regarding the railway sector in Italy. We conclude that in the GVG/FS case the European Commission went too far in defining incumbent's locomotives as an essential facility for competitors to enter the Italian market. In our view, the Commission's application of the essential facility doctrine in that case was redundant with respect to sanction a simple refusal to deal and had the potential to reduce consumers welfare.
Keywords: antitrust, competition policy, essential facility, refusal to deal, liberalization process
JEL Classification: K21, K22, L41, L43, L59, L91, L92
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