Chillin'Competition

Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

What’s wrong with French Politicians?

with one comment

You liked the Alstom saga?

You loved President Sarkozy’s assault against article 3(1) g) EC?

Now you will surely adore the latest anti-Brussels protests voiced by the French government. Yesterday, several French Ministers lambasted the Commission’s decision in the air freight cargo case as “disproportionate.  Air France was fined €380 millions.

50 years after the entry into force of the EU Treaty, the declarations of those politicians – who seem to have just discovered the existence of EU anti-cartel provisions – are pathetic.

Beyond the ridiculous political gesticulations, a number of other things strike me as odd. After all, the victims of the cartel (air freight cargo customers) include probably a large number of French companies. Rather than siding here with Air France, the Government could have congratulated the Commission for protecting the interests of French customers. Yet again, French politicians decided to play Brussels v. Paris.

But there’s even worse. Buckle up and seat tight: the European affairs minister argued that the decision was discriminatory. Believe it or not, the alleged discrimination lies in the fact that some companies got off the hook in exchange for cooperation with the Commission. Obviously, our chap needs a crash course on leniency. Happy to offer my services (there is obviously no discrimination, as long as all companies can in principle equally receive immunity in exchange for cooperation). For more, see the post hereafter by Jean Quatremer (in French).

In the same vein: François Lévêque has sent us last week a paper about the new French electricity act. According to the author, this Act is (i) detrimental to competition; (ii) entails heavy handed State regulation; and (iii) is prone to regulatory capture and rent seeking behaviour. Scary. See link hereafter.

NomeEng


Written by Nicolas Petit

12 November 2010 at 7:35 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Brilliant!

    Alberto Alemanno

    13 November 2010 at 3:42 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: