Monthly Archives: April 2013

Multi-speed Europe and the unitary patent: taking the first steps

A landmark recent judgment of the Grand Chamber of the CJEU was the first occasion on which the CJEU has considered the validity of a decision authorising enhanced cooperation. This is particularly topical given the flurry of initiatives relying upon this mechanism, some of which are now being challenged (such as the UK’s proposed proceedings against the Financial Transactions or “Tobin” Tax). However, it also calls for a post in this blog as it raises a number of interesting practical and legal issues for competition practitioners. Continue reading

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Filed under IP, Policy

The economics of pass-on

The Competition Bulletin is pleased to announce that Oxera Consulting will be contributing a short series of blogs on key economic concepts for competition lawyers. Robin Noble, Oxera Associate Director and an expert economist on commercial and competition law damages actions, is our first guest blogger. His post discusses the issue of pass-on—ie, the extent to which the purchaser of a cartelised product passes on the overcharge, and therefore its losses, to its own downstream customers. Robin can be contacted at


Pass-on is a key issue in virtually all cartel damages claims in the EU. It can make or break a claim: assuming that pass-on is a valid defence to a damages claim, complete pass-on means a claimant cannot claim for any absorbed overcharge, the main head of loss in these actions.

This post focuses on two points. First, it provides a brief summary of the key insights provided by economic theory; second, it discusses two important real-world issues: cost plus pricing, and price-pointing. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse, Agreements, Damages