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Essential Facility Access in Us and EU: Drawing a Test for Antitrust Policy

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: 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.

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