OECD diskutiert “margin squeeze”

Falls Sie von der Kosten-Preis-Schere nach den Schlussanträgen GA Mazáks in TeliaSonera und Deutsche Telekom noch nicht genug haben:

Die OECD hat im September hierzu ein umfangreiches Arbeitspapier veröffentlicht.

Es besteht aus einer vor Kompromissformeln nur so triefenden Zusammenfassung, einer Einführung in das Thema (“Background Note”) und den üblichen Länderübersichten (S. 123 ff. zu Deutschland, S. 241 ff. zu den USA).

Die Einführung ist eine der besten Kurzdarstellungen des margin squeeze, die ich kenne. Darryl Biggar, Economist der Kartellbehörde Australiens (ACCC), hat sie im Namen der OECD geschrieben. Der ökonometrische Touch ist erfrischend. Dort stehen Sätze wie dieser hier:

In order to stimulate discussion, this paper argues that, with one possible exception, nearly all the behaviour that can be characterised as a margin squeeze can be equivalently characterised as one of the other forms of abuse of dominance.

Diese eine Ausnahme betreffe die Situation, “where a fully integrated firm faces a duty to sell an essential input to rivals”. Zum kartellrechtlichen Modelldenken weist die Einführung zu Recht auf Folgendes hin:

This classic or stereotypical margin squeeze situation is seldom, if ever, found in practice. Instead, the analysis of alleged instances of margin squeeze is, in practice, significantly complicated by a number of factors, such as the possibility that:

(a) the upstream firm is only partially vertically integrated downstream (i.e., only owns a proportion of the downstream firm, or vice versa);

(b) the upstream product or service provided to the non-integrated rival is not identical to the upstream product or service the firm provides to itself;

(c) the downstream product of the non-integrated rivals is not a perfect substitute for the product of the integrated incumbent;

(d) the upstream product or service is not used in fixed proportions by the non-integrated rivals;

(e) the upstream firm incurs additional costs in providing the essential input to rivals compared to when it supplies itself;

(f) there are economies of scale or scope in the downstream production process;

(g) the contractual arrangements between the integrated firm and the downstream rivals are more complicated than a simple linear arms-length price and involves fixed charges, take-or-pay arrangements, or other contractual arrangements;

(h) the downstream product is provided as part of a bundle of services which is purchased as a group, rather than individually;

(i) there is imperfect competition between the incumbent and the other non-integrated downstream firms; Alternatively, there are switching costs in the downstream market;

(j) the upstream or downstream markets are developing rapidly with either changing technologies, or rapid penetration of new products amongst consumers;

(k) either the upstream or downstream prices of the incumbent firm are regulated – either individually or as part of a weighted-average cap on prices, either at the wholesale level, the retail level, both, or as part of a “global price cap” covering both sets of services.

S 31 ff. der Einführung diskutiert Trinko und linkLine, S. 38 f. reißt die großen EU-Fälle an. Lesenswert!

Karte: Wikimedia Commons.

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