Competition policy cases now rely more on economic analysis than ever before. The competition authorities are interested in the likely effects of different business practices and structures, as well as the legal form taken.
Moreover, competition analyses now contribute to almost every aspect of industrial or economic policy.
Market definition: This remains a fundamental part of competition cases, to which economic studies are essential.
Dominant firms: We can advise on any investigation into the conduct of firms with market power, and whether conduct amounts to an abuse. Abuse of dominance can result in heavy fines, and yet the definition of “abuse” in legal terms is not at all precise.
Damages: Economic models and analyses can show whether or not alleged damages claims are valid. This involves comparing the situation that would have arisen in the absence of the agreement or action in question (the counterfactual).
Sector studies: These involve research using statistical analyses and other empirical techniques familiar to economists.
Mergers and acquisitions: The analysis includes defining the relevant market(s); assessing the effects on the structure of the market, and potential competition in the market; and evaluating any benefits to consumers.
Agreements: We can advise whether an agreement may produce adverse effects on competition and, if so, whether there are any offsetting benefits that would be recognised under competition law.
Recent examples of projects in many sectors and jurisdictions include a sector study for the Irish Law Society; damage estimation for a pharmaceutical company; testimony on distribution agreements; merger analysis; and a study for the OFT on its decisions on bid rigging in the construction industry.
Our in-house experts are: Dermot Glynn, Andrew Lilico, Iona McCall, Pau Salsas, Jonathan Green, Bob Young, Maurizio Conti and Stefano Ficco.