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Excess prices refers to prices set significantly above competitive levels as a result of monopoly or market power.

However, in practice, in absence of a conspiracy or price fixing agreement or evidence of market power stemming from high concentration, it is very difficult to establish a threshold beyond which a price may be considered excessive or unreasonable. Because the basic method of organizing production in a market economy is through the price system, price flexibility is critical. Prices fluctuate in order to bring supply and demand into equilibrium.

Temporary shortages in supply or increases in demand will cause prices to rise and provide incentives for increased production and entry of new suppliers. Moreover, it should be noted that price and/or profit comparisons between different firms, markets, or countries are fraught with legal and economic problems. Attempts by government to control or force a roll back of prices that are not a result of restrictions on competition are inconsistent with the philosophy underlying competition policy.

Source Publication:
Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993.


Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, January 3, 2002

Last updated on Friday, March 15, 2002