The phrase, “abuse of dominance in regulated sectors,” is both obvious and contradictory. Some might say that abuse can only be expected in sectors that have been singled out to be regulated. Others might say that if a sector were effectively regulated, then abuse cannot occur. But legal and institutional frameworks are not so tightly built, allowing at least the questions to be raised whether there is an overlap so that some conduct can be dealt with both as a regulatory matter and an antitrust matter, as well as whether there may be gaps between the implementation of the two approaches. Institutional structures may create a gap in which competition authorities find themselves deciding whether and how to address exploitative or exclusionary conduct by enterprises in dominant positions and, more rarely, by other parts of government. Where these gaps are in regulated sectors that are economically or politically important, such as telecommunications, electricity, and transport, competition authorities can be under intense pressure to solve market problems.
Abuse of Dominance in Regulated Sectors — Session III