Loyalty Rebates after Intel: Time for the European Court of Justice to Overrule Hoffman-La Roche


In June 2014, the GCEU confirmed the Decision of the European Commission that condemned Intel for breaching Article 102 TFEU by adopting exclusive rebates and “naked restrictions”. This judgment, in which the GCEU considered that in line with Hoffman-La Roche loyalty rebates should be quasi-per se illegal has been subject to many criticisms as not in line with the teachings of economics. This paper discusses the shortcomings of this judgment and argues that it is great time for the CJEU to abandon the application of its quasi-per se rule of illegality approach to exclusive dealing and loyalty rebates and replace it by a structured rule of reason. Such an approach would have many advantages and create greater coherence in the case-law of the CJEU on unilateral pricing conduct.