Chillin'Competition

Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for November 8th, 2011

On the EU and the sovereign debt crisis (because life isn’t just competition law)

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We spend most of our time working on competition law matters – be it in academia or in private practice-, and we also spend part of our free time trying to look at competition law from a different angle on this blog. If we devote so much time to try to make sense –and sometimes fun- out of competition law it isn’t because we believe that competition law is more important than other stuff. For all its many virtues, it actually isn’t.

We started this because we thought there was something a bit different that could be done within our tiny and endogamic professional circle, and because we only feel comfortable speaking out loud about issues on which we feel we can add something coherent and hopefully useful (as you can imagine, writing every day what comes off the top of our heads without thorough reflection and in front of such an informed audience as you are means entails certain challenges and risk, notably the risk of making fools out of ourselves). In other words, we do this because we thought there was something meaningful –if only a tiny bit- that we could add to the area in which our professional lives are focused.

But even though our economist friends could argue that we are rationally choosing to exploit our competitive advantage, we can’t help thinking sometimes that maybe our priorities are somehow skewed. One example: while EU leaders were holding crucial talks in Brussels–just a few meters away from my office- on October 27th and 28th, we were writing here about the names of partners at an American firm as well as about the “slow death of Article 101(3)”. Wouldn’t it have made much sense for us to write about the slow death of the European project?

We are just as politics geeks and fervent EU supporters as we are competition law geeks; the difference is that we feel, or rather know, that you wouldn’t give a damn about our personal views on general issues on which our opinion is not different from anybody else’s; that’s why we’ve only gone off track on very rare occasions. There are times however where we feel that we have to give vent to some non-competition related thoughts.

There are some things we simply can’t understand. We don’t have solutions and are not going to fix the world, but since we need to let some steam off, we thought we’d use this platform.

If interested in knowing what we can’t understand, keep on reading. If not, we’ll be back tomorrow with the usual stuff, and apologies for going off-track.

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Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

8 November 2011 at 9:03 pm