The European Commission’s policy on the relevance of efficiency considerations in abuse of dominance cases (Article 102 TFEU) has not been resolved satisfactorily. In an attempt to give guidance on this matter, we address the topic from two different angles: First, we review EC soft law provisions and recent decisions. Based on this review, we find that efficiency defences play a limited role under the current practice. They are of relevance in the growing number of IT related cases but only in these. Second, we explore – in the example of low price strategies – business practitioners’ views on the relevance of the pro and anti-competitive motives. Based on a survey of EMBA students, we find that low price strategies are indeed frequently used. The motives are diverse however, often pro-competitive and in line with antitrust compliance, i.e. low price strategies are rarely considered advisable for leading firms. Finally, policy conclusions are drawn.
Keywords: antitrust policy, efficiency defence, predatory pricing