Article 82 of the EC Treaty prevents the abuse by one or more
undertakings of a dominant position. Its application is currently under
review by the European Commission and in July of this year, the
Economic Advisory Group for Competition Policy (the "EAGCP") published
a report on abuse of dominant position under Article 82. This report
was prepared at the request of DG Competition's Chief Economist within
the European Commission.  The proposal put forward is to begin to
apply an economic effects-based approach under which the focus would be
on the economic impact of the actions of a dominant company on
consumers.  At present the regulators consider whether a company
is dominant and whether it is carrying out certain prohibited
practices.  If the new proposals were to be implemented,
competitive harm would be required to be established, ie the effects of
the practices in question would have to be assessed.  The EAGCP is
arguing that the change would lead to more consistent treatment which
would increase the level of certainty for businesses.

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