Self-Preferencing and Competitive Damages: A Focus on Exploitative Abuses
Conceived as a theory of competitive harm, self-preferencing has been at the core of recent European landmark cases (e.g., Google Android, Google Shopping). In the context of EU competition law, beyond the anti-competitive leveraging effect, self-preferencing may lead to vertical and horizontal exclusionary abuses, encourage exploitation abuses, and generate economic dependence abuses. In this paper, we aim at characterizing the various forms of self-preferencing, investigating platforms’ capacity and incentives to do so through their dual role, by shedding light on the economic assessment of these practices in an effects-based approach. We analyze the different options for remedies in this context, by insisting on their necessity, adequacy, and proportionality.