Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Essential Facilities Doctrine

  • Frédéric MartyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_659


The essential facility doctrine is a disputed concept in the field of competition law enforcement. According to this doctrine while a dominant operator controls an asset that its competitors cannot bypass to access the market because of its natural monopoly situation or because the unreasonableness of its replication in financial or in technical terms, it may be bound to provide them an access in fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms. This approach may lead to far reaching remedies and is all the more challenged that it is also implemented to intangible assets.


The essential facilities doctrine (hereafter the EFD) stems from the notion of market failure and, even more specifically, from the concept of natural monopoly. The EFD may be used in a situation in which an economic operator access to the market exclusively depends on the decision of a facility owner without any available alternative. The facility owner may be one of its competitors in the...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS - UMR 7321 GredegUniversité Côté d’Azur, Université Nice Sophia AntipolisValbonneFrance