Almost two decades after the arrivai of the 'more economics based approach' to EU competition law, this economic school of thought, the European School, has been properly defined and is now in general used among competition law practitioners and their government counterparts. This genuine European economic approach, studied by Doris Hildebrand since the first edition of this now-classic work, implements the European cornerstones of the social market economy concept such as freedom of contract, social fairness, and the equality principle. Now, in the book's revised and updated fourth edition, the author explores the full spectrum of this development in detail, uncovering its multiple rationales as it has gradually formulated the legal principles of `competition economics' that have corne to underlie ail matters related to Article 101 (1), Article 101 (3), Article 102, the Merger Regulation, and the State Aid provisions.
As in previous editions, the book's interdisciplinary approach integrates law and economics n such a way that economics in competition proceedings becomes easier to understand for lawyers not trained in economic theory or economic school of thoughts. It offers an in-depth description of 'European School' theories and applications, particularly with respect to vertical and horizontal agreements. In addition, the book provides solid guidance on the definition of the relevant antitrust markets, with a detailed description of the hypothetical monopolist test.
Among the fundamental elements discussed are the following:
- application of economics in the competition test as developed by the EU Courts;
- concrete economic analysis companies need to perform in order to qualify for an exemption;
- test procedures to assess whether a certain behaviour constitutes an abuse under Article 102;
- various methodologies to define markets;
- contrasting the European and Chicago schools;
- practical implementation of the EU social market economy objective in EU competition law;
- use of evidence in market definition practice;
- State Aid provisions; and
- empirical techniques used to evaluate a merger.
Ail significant cases contributory to the development of European competition economics are discussed and analysed in detail. A new first chapter on The Frame' clearly demonstrates ail the ways in which EU competition policy represents an essential foundation of the EU. Moreover « The Frame » elaborates that the social market economy objective as defined in the Lisbon Treaty is from the economic perspective the appropriate benchmark in any EU competition law assessment. This benchmark requires a holistic approach by taking into account 'utilities' of EU citizens instead of focusing on price elements only.
This new updated and revised edition has been anticipated, and will be widely welcomed. Competition lawyers, corporate in-house counsel, competition authorities, and courts will appreciate the book's clear, understandable discussion of the relevant European competition theory, authoritative guidance on the application of economic analysis, and practical insight in dealing with thèse subjects in real-world cases.