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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG Competition - page 95 / 113





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input owner. A margin squeeze could therefore be demonstrated by showing that the input owner’s own downstream operations could not trade profitably on the basis of the upstream price charged to its competitors by its upstream operating arm.134 DOMINANCE

Competition problems only if dominant 221. A termination of a supply relationship can only raise competition problems if the undertaking refusing to supply has a dominant position on a defined market. This will often be an “upstream” input market, but it may also be a distinct market where access is needed to link this market with another market, for example to interface information. LIKELY MARKET DISTORTING FORECLOSURE EFFECT

Abuse only if termination distorts market downstream 222. The termination of one individual customer from the downstream market does not in itself constitute an abuse. An abuse may only arise when the termination is likely to have a negative effect on competition in the downstream market. This should however not be understood to mean the complete elimination of all competition. The extent to which the termination of one customer has an impact on the level of competition depends on the pre-existing competition on the downstream market. In some cases, the termination of one customer may have a detrimental effect on the level of competition; in other cases the impact may be small to insignificant. For instance, if there are several competitors in the downstream market and the supplier of the input is not itself active in that market, the impact on competition of the termination may be small unless the exclusion is likely to lead to collusion. However, if the input owner is itself active in the downstream market and terminates supplies to one of its few competitors, it will normally be presumed that there is a negative effect on competition on the downstream market.

Identity of excluded competitor important 223. The identity of the excluded competitor may be important for the assessment of the effect on the level of competition of the exclusion. The exclusion of a particular competitor may


See also Access Notice, cited in footnote 2, paragraphs 117-119.

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