10 competition law cases you should know about - Case 6: Margin squeeze and NCA dilemma of cost data 02 October 17

Competition law applies horizontally in all sectors, in addition to sector-specific regulation. Antitrust and merger control cases abound in the telecoms and media sectors, with significant cases also occurring in the postal sector. In addition, the rise of the data economy is challenging traditional approaches to assess market power.

Cullen International’s cross-sectoral Competition Law service tracks and analyses all of these developments, allowing you to prepare for the business risks and commercial opportunities presented by antitrust and merger control rules. Our English language database of unbiased national and EU case summaries is organised around ten categories of cases: eight covering different forms of abuse of dominance, plus those covering restrictive agreements and mergers.

Over ten weeks, we will share with you one case summary per week from each of these categories.

Stay tuned for our special case selection and let us surprise you with some cases you may not have known about! We trust you will find our case selection interesting.

Case 6: Margin squeeze and NCA dilemma of cost data

Our sixth case highlights the difficulties that competition authorities may face in trying to prove a margin squeeze in the absence of reliable cost data.

The Hungarian competition authority found that postal incumbent Magyar Posta had not abused its dominance in the market for mailbox rental services by squeezing its competitors’ margins in the downstream market for mailbox-related services.

In particular, there was no detailed cost data available from Magyar Posta that could enable the NCA to separate the costs of mailbox rental services from other services which shared common costs. The NCA had to base its assessment on market conditions, the characteristics of the behaviour and its potential exclusionary effects.

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