A key competition law development in Israel in 2020: The long-standing dispute regarding the scope of the excessive pricing prohibition is finally to be decided by the Supreme Court. Some lower courts have interpreted the equivalent of Section 102 of the TFEU in the widest fashion worldwide – equating competitive price with the fair price. This has led to a tsunami of private class action cases (more than 30) on excessive prices, mostly in minor markets (margarine, soup almonds, etc.). In a recent decision, one court has found that a 3.5%(!) increase above the price under competitive conditions constituted an abuse. Some commentators (including yours truly) have voiced concerns about such price regulation via courts. This question has finally been put to the Supreme Court. The Court has requested the opinion of the AG, who warned against adopting such a wide interpretation. Hearings are to be held in December.
A place to visit in Israel after the pandemic: Hard to choose, but my ultimate favorite is the Ramon Crater in the southern part of Israel. It is simply a beautiful heart-shaped crater, doning different-colored layers of earth and exquisite trails of all lengths. It is also one of the best places in Israel to view the stars at night. The view from the sidelines of the crater are simply breathtaking and enable the visitor to feel one with nature.
Michal S. Gal is Professor and Director of the Center for Law and Technology at the University of Haifa, and the President of the Academic Society for Competition Law, ASCOLA, the international association of competition law scholars.