Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for January 4th, 2010

Dissertation Summaries (8) – LLM in IP and Competition Law 2009-2010

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Competition law, sustainable development and environmental protection – Ann-Sophie Maes
For a few years now, environmental protection is at the helm of most governments’ policy agenda. There is indeed a growing acceptance that issues like climate change and water pollution affect all of us. Business as usual is thus no longer an option. At both the EU and national levels, decision makers have taken stock of this new pro-environment paradigm and have adopted measures regulating the conduct of market players, subsidizing certain industries/market practices/technologies, etc. However, because such measures may entail higher costs for businesses, increased coordination between market players, distortive state aids, etc., the question arises whether they enshrine distortions of competition in conflict with the EU competition rules. The purpose of the present dissertation is thus to answer to this question and, in turn, to examine whether those distortions of competition can be compensated by environmental benefits. In particular, it seeks to determine to which extent environmental efficiencies can be translated into economic terms, or monetized, to fit within the current interpretation of Article 101(3) TFUE and other EU law efficiency defences. The present dissertation does not only cover the pro-environmental measures adopted to date, but also considers prospective measures, strategies and issues (e.g., carbon capture) which may represent a challenge for competition law.

Written by Nicolas Petit

4 January 2010 at 10:37 am

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