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The EC competition law reform

Wennergren, Anna (2004)
Department of Law
Abstract
From the first of May this year the notification system is to be abandoned to the benefit of a directly applicable system in which the undertakings themselves will be forced to assess the EC competition rules. A major decentralisation is also to take place, allowing both the national competition authorities and the national courts to apply the EC competition rules in their entirety. Even though the reform is believed to have a lot of positive effects, especially concerning administrative efficiency, there are quite a few worries linked to the new system. Most of these are connected to legal certainty aspects and the risk of loosing coherency and consistency in the application of the EC competition law. For instance critics have expressed... (More)
From the first of May this year the notification system is to be abandoned to the benefit of a directly applicable system in which the undertakings themselves will be forced to assess the EC competition rules. A major decentralisation is also to take place, allowing both the national competition authorities and the national courts to apply the EC competition rules in their entirety. Even though the reform is believed to have a lot of positive effects, especially concerning administrative efficiency, there are quite a few worries linked to the new system. Most of these are connected to legal certainty aspects and the risk of loosing coherency and consistency in the application of the EC competition law. For instance critics have expressed their concerns as to the possibility for national judges to deal with the complex economic considerations that have to be taken into account when applying Article 81(3). Moreover the risk of having divergent judgements/decisions is believed to increase as the national competition authorities and the national courts are given the right to apply Articles 81 and 82 in their entirety. Closely connected to this issue lies the problem of different procedural rules in different Member States, something which both increases the risk of forum shopping and divergent decisions. The above stated assumes however that the amount of cases in national courts and national competition authorities will increase as a result of the abolition of the notification system. This is probable, but not at all a guarantee. In order to solve these problems, the Commission has presented a will to increase the co-operation between the players on the EC competition field. This is done through an increased information exchange, especially between the Commission and the national competition authorities. The latter co-operates further with the Commission through a so called European Competition Network. This network seems to solve most of the predicted problems in this part of the decentralisation. The situation is however somewhat different when it comes to the national courts. In order to decrease the risk of divergent decisions, the Commission has been given the possibility to intervene as Amicus Curiae. The national courts are also obliged to send every judgement based on the application of Articles 81 and 82 to the Commission. Furthermore they cannot rule against Decisions taken by the Commission. It is also notable that the Commission have a special funding system which encourages national judges to have seminars and create networks together with judges in other Member States. The question is whether these measures are sufficient. As have been shown in the essay, there are quite a few situations which leave a lot to ask for in terms of co-operation. This is especially true for the interaction between the national courts and the Commission. (Less)
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author
Wennergren, Anna
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EG-rätt
language
English
id
1562951
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:30
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:30
@misc{1562951,
  abstract     = {From the first of May this year the notification system is to be abandoned to the benefit of a directly applicable system in which the undertakings themselves will be forced to assess the EC competition rules. A major decentralisation is also to take place, allowing both the national competition authorities and the national courts to apply the EC competition rules in their entirety. Even though the reform is believed to have a lot of positive effects, especially concerning administrative efficiency, there are quite a few worries linked to the new system. Most of these are connected to legal certainty aspects and the risk of loosing coherency and consistency in the application of the EC competition law. For instance critics have expressed their concerns as to the possibility for national judges to deal with the complex economic considerations that have to be taken into account when applying Article 81(3). Moreover the risk of having divergent judgements/decisions is believed to increase as the national competition authorities and the national courts are given the right to apply Articles 81 and 82 in their entirety. Closely connected to this issue lies the problem of different procedural rules in different Member States, something which both increases the risk of forum shopping and divergent decisions. The above stated assumes however that the amount of cases in national courts and national competition authorities will increase as a result of the abolition of the notification system. This is probable, but not at all a guarantee. In order to solve these problems, the Commission has presented a will to increase the co-operation between the players on the EC competition field. This is done through an increased information exchange, especially between the Commission and the national competition authorities. The latter co-operates further with the Commission through a so called European Competition Network. This network seems to solve most of the predicted problems in this part of the decentralisation. The situation is however somewhat different when it comes to the national courts. In order to decrease the risk of divergent decisions, the Commission has been given the possibility to intervene as Amicus Curiae. The national courts are also obliged to send every judgement based on the application of Articles 81 and 82 to the Commission. Furthermore they cannot rule against Decisions taken by the Commission. It is also notable that the Commission have a special funding system which encourages national judges to have seminars and create networks together with judges in other Member States. The question is whether these measures are sufficient. As have been shown in the essay, there are quite a few situations which leave a lot to ask for in terms of co-operation. This is especially true for the interaction between the national courts and the Commission.},
  author       = {Wennergren, Anna},
  keyword      = {EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The EC competition law reform},
  year         = {2004},
}