SAA II: Abuse of Dominance in the South African Skies

Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2012 Last revised: 14 Dec 2016

Giulio Federico

Chief Economist Team, DG Competition, European Commission; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Date Written: January 31, 2013

Abstract

This article reviews a recent abuse of dominance decision against the incumbent domestic airline in South Africa (SAA). This case placed significant emphasis on the economic impact of the abusive conduct, and it represents a clear example of the adoption of an effects-based approach to assess exclusionary behavior by a dominant firm. As this paper sets out, given the features of SAA’s conduct and of the relevant market context, it is also possible to identify a coherent economic framework which can explain why SAA’s rivals could not profitably match its incentive schemes and were therefore foreclosed. The conceptual issues raised by the SAA case are similar to the ones at stake in the landmark judgments on British Airways. The lessons from this case are therefore relevant to ongoing antitrust debate on loyalty discounts.

Keywords: abuse of dominance, loyalty schemes, foreclosure

JEL Classification: L41

Suggested Citation

Federico, Giulio, SAA II: Abuse of Dominance in the South African Skies (January 31, 2013). Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2119495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2119495

Giulio Federico (Contact Author)

Chief Economist Team, DG Competition, European Commission ( email )

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

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