Definitions and Criteria of Predatory Pricing

30 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2001  

David M. Spector

French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP)

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to clarify the definition of predatory pricing, and to compare various legal criteria for the investigation of predation claims. By constructing a simple but full-fledge model, I show that (i) several definitions of what constitutes predatory pricing, often considered as equivalent, are in fact different; and (ii) the existing justifications for the use of price-cost comparisons (the Areeda-Turner test and its variants) are logically flawed. Other proposed rules, such as Williamson's output restriction rule or Baumol's "permanence of price reduction" rule are also problematic if courts hesitate between viewing a particular market as characterized by competition in prices or by competition in quantities. These remarks lend support to the use of two-tier procedures such as the one advocated by Joskow and Klevorick, and, more generally, lead us to view the rule of reason as superior to any per se rule.

Keywords: predatory pricing, competition policy, exclusionary conduct

JEL Classification: K21, L41

Suggested Citation

Spector, David M., Definitions and Criteria of Predatory Pricing (January 2001). MIT Dept. of Economics Working Paper No. 01-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=262027 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.262027

David M. Spector (Contact Author)

French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP)

Ecole Normale Superieure
48 boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

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