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The geographic dimension of markets: Some observations

Rhonda Smith and Arlen Duke
(2017) 25 Competition and Consumer Law Journal 1



Despite well-established principles for identifying the geographic dimension of markets, since the late 1990s its often seems to receive scant attention, possibly due to significant factual difficulties that override or limit systematic consideration of substitutability. This article begins with an overview of the various methodologies that the courts have employed or could employ to define the geographic dimension of the market. Then the role that supply-side substitutability should play in this process is considered, along with the extent to which supply side is actually considered in key jurisdictions. The impact of globalisation is then discussed, along with the complication that arises when incorporating online sales, often occurring via two-sided platforms and markets, into the market analysis. Finally, consideration is given to whether the current definition of the term ‘market’ in s 4E of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) limits the extent to which the ideas expressed in this article can be meaningfully incorporated into market definition in the Australian context.