Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The elusive test for unfair excessive pricing under EU law: revisiting United Brands in the light of Competition and Markets Authority v Flynn Pharma Ltd

Stirling, Grant


Grant Stirling


The European Commission has historically proved relatively reluctant to intervene in the area of excessive pricing. This is probably partly because the test outlined in United Brands v Commission remains unclear in various respects. In a recent decision of the English Court of Appeal – Competition and Markets Authority v Flynn Pharma – the English court sought to revisit some of the problematic aspects of the United Brands test. While the decision places a useful light on the intrinsic problems with the test, it is argued that in certain respects the Court of Appeal's reading is questionable and that significant uncertainties remain. In particular, the questions of what qualifies a price as being “unfair in itself” and how the economic value of a product should be assessed remain problematic. Until these issues are addressed more thoroughly by the EU courts, the enforcement of unfair excessive pricing will continue to prove problematic.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 15, 2020
Online Publication Date May 28, 2020
Publication Date 2020-09
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2022
Journal European Competition Journal
Print ISSN 1744-1056
Electronic ISSN 1757-8396
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 2-3
Pages 368-386
Keywords Unfair pricing, excessive pricing, Article 102 TFEU, United Brands, Flynn Pharma
Public URL