RBB

8 July 2024

No substitute for economics: the Commission’s updated market definition notice

Earlier this year, the European Commission issued an updated and significantly expanded version of its market definition notice. More than 25 years since the original notice was published, a period which has seen many developments including the growth of digital markets and ecosystems, an update was clearly due.  

This updated notice is largely to be welcomed. It restates the continued value and importance of market definition in all relevant European competition cases, including mergers and Article 102 investigations, and importantly maintains the core principles of demand-side and supply-side substitution. It also explains how the existing market definition framework can be applied to digital markets.   

However, when defining geographic markets, the updated notice downplays the role of demand-side substitutability in favour of greater prominence of less (economically) relevant and vaguer principles based on case law.  As our latest Brief explains, this marks a departure from the otherwise sound economic basis that the notice rightly adopts.

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Articles

All Articles
  • Brief #6708/07/2024
    No substitute for economics: the Commission’s updated market definition notice
  • Article26/02/2024
    Trouble in store(s): The CMA’s new approach to local mergers post-MAGs