WHAT WE DO
We offer specialised advice in antitrust economics, thanks to our extensive knowledge of the economic theory of competition, as well as economic, accounting, financial, statistical, econometric, and technical methodologies for applying the theory to real cases. We can apply these methodologies in proceedings before competition authorities, at national and Community level, as well as in judicial and administrative proceedings.
We help our Clients assess potential anti-competitive behaviour prior to strategic commercial decisions or during investigations by regulatory authorities. We assist our Clients during proceedings by the authorities, during administrative or judicial proceedings, including before the ordinary Courts in private enforcement cases for damages.
In our 20 years of experience, we have assisted Clients in various sectors: electronic communications, energy, broadcasting, TV rights, postal services, banking, insurance, chemicals, retail, pharmaceuticals, betting. Some examples are the following:
- we carried out the economic analysis of the competitive effects of the merger between two pay-TV operators, and built an economic model to remove possible restrictions on competitors and consumers;
- we assessed the effects on competition (coming from different geographical areas) in a case of a merger of two wholesalers in the beverage market;
- we assessed the effects on competition in the case of a merger of two banks, and checked possible remedies (number of branches to be divested) to eliminate the restrictions for consumers and competitors;
- we assessed the effects on consumers (overcharge) in the case of a cartel in the motor insurance sector;
- we assessed the existence of price effects in the case of a cartel between personal care industries;
- we analysed the possible competitive effects of an information exchange in the insurance sector;
- we analysed the cost structure of operators in a case of abuse of a dominant position through margin squeeze in the postal sector;
- we have quantified the damages in several follow-on cases for abuse of dominant position in the electronic communication services, broadcasting, and TV media sectors;
- we have verified the compatibility with Community principles of certain aid granted by the Italian State in the gaming and betting sector.
WHAT IS ANTITRUST ECONOMICS?
In antitrust cases, antitrust economics plays an important role in determining whether certain business practices and market structure may help anticompetitive coordination between operators; it is also of the utmost importance in determining whether the cartel (or arrangement) has negative effects on the market and consumers.
In cases of abuse of a dominant position, antitrust economics is key to defining the relevant market, to defining whether a firm is dominant by calculating its market power, and to ascertaining whether its behaviour leads to excessive or predatory pricing, excessively squeezes prices and margins for competitors, or harms consumers.
In cases of vertical agreements, antitrust economics makes it possible to determine whether they contain restrictions of competition or whether they promote competition to the benefit of final consumers.
In merger cases, antitrust economics is widely used by the competition authorities, to define the relevant markets, assess its economic effects and determine whether it is anticompetitive or pro-competitive, or to define what economic remedies could be put in place to sterilise potential anticompetitive effects.
In State aid cases, antitrust economics plays a crucial role in assessing the compatibility of aid with the Treaty.
Finally, antitrust economics has become increasingly important in private enforcement litigation, helping clients and their legal advisors to define an economic model of the damage suffered and to quantify it.