Should the law intervene before market power is abused?

With a natural or statutory monopoly, the structure of the market, the strength of the incumbent, the weaker position of new entrants, and (generally) the vulnerability of large numbers of consumers encourage policymakers to foresee how and where abuse is likely to arise, and to set out in legislation a regulatory framework aimed at forestalling it.

The English High Court upholds Pfizer’s stock control policy – for now

On 15 March 2010, the High Court dismissed Intecare Direct Ltd’s (IDL) application for a mandatory injunction requiring Pfizer Ltd (Pfizer) to supply certain quantities of the prescription drug Sutent.

After a three-year inquiry into the UK market for pay-TV, Ofcom has announced three decisions.

A look at the new code of practice

On 4 February this year, a new groceries supply code of practice (GSCOP) came into effect, aimed at regulating relationships between major grocery retailers – effectively supermarkets – and their suppliers.

Microsoft is giving its customers a choice of web browsers, in fulfilment of a commitment it made to the European Commission last year.

On 6 January, the Commission published a new account of its best practices in handling cases under articles 101 and 102.

The French energy company EDF has offered a number of commitments in response to the European Commission’s finding that it may be abusing its dominant position in the electricity market in France.

There is an urgent need for separate competition rules for the financial services sector

It is clear that the financial services sector is no ordinary sector.

Canada moves against abuses of dominance 

It has been seven years since the Canadian Competition Bureau last commenced proceedings under the Competition Act’s abuse of dominance provisions.

The French competition authority, Autorité de la concurrence, has imposed a €320,000 fine on Gaz and Electricité de Grenoble (GEG).

The European Court of Justice has upheld the CFI’s 2007 finding that Wanadoo had abused its dominant position in the French market for internet provision.

Section 2 of the Sherman Act is designed to stop companies monopolising markets.

The European Commission has sent a statement of objections to Microsoft, saying that the giant software company is again abusing its dominant position.

The New Zealand Commerce Commission has expressed the view that the global dairy company, Fonterra, is not guilty of abusing its powerful market position.