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The Changing Role of Economics in Competition Policy Decisions by the European Commission During the Monti Years

 |  October 18, 2006

David Evans, Carsten Grave, Apr 01, 2005

This paper examines the evolution of the use of economics in EC competition policy matters and the reforms in the use of economics that occurred in the latter part of EC Competition Commissioner Mario Monti’s term (1999-2004). Under his predecessors, the use of economics had been steadily increasing for many years. The revolutionary reforms under Commissioner Monti were triggered when the Court of First Instance (CFI) voided, in quick succession, three merger prohibitions adopted by the European Commission. The CFI criticized the Commission for relying on unverified economic theories. The reforms rapidly had an impact on merger analysis at the Commission. It is unclear, however, whether the Commission will embrace the use of sound economic analysis for abuse of dominance inquiries in the absence of a clear mandate from the EC courts to do so.

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