This article assesses the relevance of efficiencies and other justifications in recent Article 102 TFEU cases. Based on a review of all EU decisions and openings between 2009 and mid-2013, we find that procompetitive justifications still play an unsatisfactory role in the EU Commission’s evaluations, except in IT-related abuse cases. This stands in contrast to the policy goals expressed during the reform phase (from 2005 to 2009), the Guidance Paper, and the increasing relevance of efficiency considerations in merger proceedings. We argue that this development is due to a malfunctioning of the balancing test—that is, the weighting of pro- and anticompetitive effects, as pro- and anticompetitive effects are often non-separable and non-monotone in Article 102 TFEU cases. Policy options are discussed, and it is argued that a fully integrated analysis is the only policy option fully addressing the problem.
Keywords: abuse of dominance, efficiency defence, European competition policy