To quote this resource: C.-E. AUDUC, “Abuse of Economic Dependence in the Decision-Making Practice of the French Competition Authority: Assessment of an Underutilised Provision and Prospects for the Digital Economy”, Competition Forum –Resources, 2021, n° 0005, https://competition-forum.com.
Abuse of economic dependence is a French standalone violation that was added to the Competition toolkit with the objective of fighting off abusive practices implemented by non- dominant undertakings towards their trading partners. However, the French Competition Authority has always favoured a restrictive approach of the conditions required to define the abuse. As a consequence, abuse of economic dependence has been considerably disregarded by case law – until last year. On March 16th, 2020, the French Competition Authority found Apple guilty of different abuses including abuse of economic dependence. This decision has raised questions regarding the possible developments of abuse of economic dependence. The debate essentially surrounds the use of abuse of economic dependence to encompass abusive conducts of dominant and non-dominant undertakings in the digital economy. This paper aims at providing an assessment of abuse of economic dependence in the decision-making practice of the French Competition Authority. It also aims at offering lines of thoughts regarding the possible tracks of evolution of abuse of economic dependence.