An extract from The Dominance and Monopolies Review - 7th edition

Market definition and market power

According to Argentine legislation and usual practices, the analysis of anticompetitive acts, conduct or behaviour follows a procedure in which, as a first issue, the definition of the scope of the relevant product and geographic market involved in the investigation is highlighted. Following this, the antitrust authorities focus mainly on the analysis of market power and market shares of the companies involved in the case. Further to the analysis of the market shares of the companies, the antitrust authorities also focus their attention on barriers to entry, efficiency gains, technological advantages, chains of commercialisation and market power, among other things.

The relevant market in an investigation will comprise two basic dimensions: the relevant market of the product involved, and the relevant geographical market where the conduct, act or behaviour is taking place. The assessment of the impact of an investigation will be largely determined by the relevant market definition, the market power involved and the market shares of the companies involved in the case.

The relevant market of the product shall comprise all products and services that consumers consider interchangeable or substitutable by reason of their characteristics, price and intended use. More precisely, sets of products or services constitute the same relevant market when said services or products are substitutes from both the demand and supply side.

Having reached the stage of defining the relevant market for a product, the next step is to do the same in geographical terms. Defining a geographic market involves the same considerations mentioned above for the definition of the relevant market for the product, with the difference that the substitution estimate, in this case, is in terms of physical distances or capabilities of displacement, for the users as well as the producers.

The above-mentioned definitions will be followed by the analysis of market power and market shares of the companies involved in the investigation, as well as the analysis of barriers to entry into the market previously defined.