COMPETITION • FRENCH LAW • ABUSE OF DOMINANT POSITION
A finding of abuse of a dominant position entails identifying the market in which that position is held. The assessment of the market may differ for the same sector depending on whether it is carried out in the context of anticompetitive practices or mergers: in the first case, the analysis concerns an existing market, whereas in the second, it is prospective.
When not being examined as a factor of dominance, supply-side elasticity is an indicator of the market definition itself. As a subsidiary criterion to elasticity of demand, elasticity of supply aims to assess the ability of other suppliers to satisfy the demand addressed to the allegedly dominant undertaking. The low degree of supply-side elasticity may lead to the selection of a small market. Supply substitutability exists when suppliers can redirect the products or services in question without incurring unacceptable costs or risks in order to replace the previous supplier. When substitution requires heavy investments or strategic revisions, it is not taken into account.
Finally, self-consumption, which consists in an undertaking producing a good or rendering a service necessary to its own business activity, is not part of the supply on a market.
Competition authorities may decide not to choose between different possible market definitions where, regardless of the definition chosen, the competitive analysis remains unchanged.