Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

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Oops, the General Court did it again… Last week in EFIM v. Commission, the Court confirmed the Laurent Piau case-law:  a collective dominant position under Article 102 TFEU covers situations of tacit collusion (here labelled, “tacit coordination“) and hinges on proof of (i) detection opportunities; (ii) retaliation mechanisms; and (iii) absence of countervailing power of actual and potential rivals. Interestingly, the Court made no reference to the notions of “collective entity“, “correlation factors” or “economic links“, used in previous cases. A welcome ruling. Yet, much remains to be done in relation to the concept of abuse of collective dominance.

A great hire by Compass Lexecon: Prof. Jonathan Baker just joined them as Senior Consultant. Prof. Baker has been the Chief Economist of the FCC and the FTC. But to me, J. Baker is one of the first economists who articulated a workable theory of unilateral effects in merger cases. For more, see his article with Timothy F. Bresnahan entitled, ” The Gains from Merger or Collusion in ProductDifferentiated Industries”, 33 J. INDUS. ECON. 427 (1985) and see link here (and in particular footnote 15).

On 12 December, the Brussels School of Competition will host a half-day conference on the proposed reform of Belgian Competition Law. See here for the programme. My assistant Norman Neyrinck and my friend Laurent de Muyter will speak at the conference. I cannot wait to listen to them.

An unconvenient truth: it is technically wrong to say that the default of a Eurozone State would trigger the end of the € as a currency. On this, journalists tend to oversimplify. Unless all failed States opt out of the Eurozone, the € will stay in business. And by the way, a defaulting State does not necessarily need to exit the Eurozone. True though, defaulting States may be tempted to exit so as to engage into competitive devaluation, and regain growth in the mid-term.

Finally, because I love self promotion, and also for my fan club – Alfonso, pls forward this asap to your colleague – a picture of me with a Chinese official who attended a lecture on EU competition law in Brussels 15 days ago.

Written by Nicolas Petit

30 November 2011 at 7:28 pm

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