The (Lack of) Economic Analysis by Courts in Israeli Antitrust Cases Concerning Restraints of Trade
Israel Law Review, Vol. 39, 2006
25 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008 Last revised: 20 Aug 2008
This Article shows that Israeli case law refrains from economic analysis of harm to competition when it comes to determining whether agreements are antitrust violations. It also shows that the antitrust agency seems, de facto, to be content with the fact that courts tend not to conduct economic analysis in antitrust cases. Moreover, it shows that many times the antitrust agency itself initiated interpretations of the statute that set a broad range of per se prohibitions that do not require economic analysis. I hypothesize that the reason that the antitrust agency is content with the lack of economics analysis stems from the fact that broad per se prohibitions assist the agency in its role as a major litigator of antitrust cases. They also cause many of the business transactions to be subject to ex ante review by the antitrust agency, thereby enhancing the agency's regulatory powers. After fifteen years of broad per se prohibitions, courts concerned with the opportunism of parties began interpreting the statute to enable per se legality in many cases. It was only then that the antitrust authority responded by helping to propose an amendment that would make the statute less vague.
Keywords: antitrust, rule of reason, per se rule, vertical restraints, civil courts
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