Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for October 2010

New Paper on SSRN

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Damien Geradin and myself have just posted a new paper on ssrn. This paper is work in progress. It is entitled “Judicial Review in European Union Competition Law: A Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment“. The paper tries to be a little innovative, in providing an empirical assessment (numbers and stats) on judicial review. As usual, comments are most welcome.

For regular users of ssrn, please note that hardcopies of papers posted on will soon be made available, and will cost a little less than 10$.

Written by Nicolas Petit

28 October 2010 at 5:15 pm

New appointments in DG COMP

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I believe that we´re  the first ones to report the following changes within DG COMP  (approved today by the Commission and effective from 1 November):

Nadia Calviño has been appointed Deputy Director General in DG Market. In order to replace her, Cecilio Madero has been appointed Acting Deputy Director General for Antitrust & Mergers.

In addition, Joachim Luecking will be acting as Director of C; Eduardo Martinez will act as Head of C/1; and  Gert-Jan Koopman will become Deputy Director General for State aid.


Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

27 October 2010 at 8:37 pm

Paul the Octopus dies

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This is really (heart)breaking antitrust news. Paul the Octopus died yesterday at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen.

This is dramatic news for the competition community: precisely yesterday I saw that the market intelligence company Mlex had very recently referred to Paul as Damien Neven´s replacement (see the great picture above, extracted from the October-December 2010 issue of Mlex magazine).

The aquarium has announced that Paul´s body is in cold storage while decisions are made on “how best to mark his passing”. Paul will be given his own small burial plot and a permanent shrine would be erected in his memory”.  For a modest idea from chillingcompetition as to how Paul could better rest in peace, see here

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

27 October 2010 at 12:00 am

Patent = Monopoly

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Many antitrust cholars are reluctant to equate an IPR with a monopoly. This is because, under conditions of equal access to capital and investments, any firm can also benefit  from the protection of IPRs, and challenge the monopoly holder with innovative, IPRed products/services.

Our supreme judges in Luxembourg seem however to be a little less cautious. At para 64 of C-468/06 to C‑478/06, Sot. Lélos kai Sia EE and Others v GlaxoSmithKline AEVE, [2008] ECR I-7139, the Court of Justice held that:

a medicine is protected by a patent which confers a temporary monopoly on its holder, the price competition which may exist between a producer and its distributors, or between parallel traders and national distributors, is, until the expiry of that patent, the only form of competition which can be envisaged“.

This wording is unfortunate. The Court seems unaware of the fact that within a same relevant market, there can be competition amongst various patented products.

(Image possibly subject to copyrights: source here)

Written by Nicolas Petit

26 October 2010 at 9:11 am

Save the Date

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Written by Nicolas Petit

25 October 2010 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Events

Chillin’Competition celebrates 1st Year

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We hadn´t realized, but yesterdat chillingcompetition turned 1 !

It was on October 2oth that we started spreading the word around about the existence of this blog. Nicolas probably knew what to expect after the hotchpotch experience, but I´ve been frankly surprised by the reach of this tool.

Chillingcompetition has had nearly 70.000 visits;  its daily visits are currently in the order of 350 (and constantly increasing).

Moreover, its visitors are from very varied places (check the map on the lower right side of the web, right now showing visits from all over Europe, the US, China, Colombia. Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, India or Dubai).

We are proud that some people might find the posts here interesting, and we´re committed to improving all the many things that surely can be done better.

Thanks for your trust and interest in our stories!

Nicolas / Alfonso

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

22 October 2010 at 8:54 am

Belgian Competition Day

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My way of celebrating the Belgian competition day: I am off to France for the day.

I’ll be presenting my recent papers to Frederic Marty and his fellows from GREDEG (in Nice Sophia Antipolis).

In addition, I have been told I would have the opportunity to meet a legend of French competition economics, Prof. Michel Glais.

Written by Nicolas Petit

21 October 2010 at 7:19 am