Excessive Prices: Foreword

June 22, 2018

One fundamental difference between the European and American approaches to unilateral conduct relates to the treatment of exploitative conduct, including excessive prices. While the mere charging of monopoly prices is not unlawful under US antitrust law, which recognizes high prices as an important element of the free-market system that rewards innovation, exploitative practices by a dominant company are in principle considered abusive under EU law, even if the exploitative conduct is not accompanied by other anticompetitive practices. Notably, article 102 TFEU explicitly considers that an abuse of dominant position may in particular consist in “directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions”.