Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for February 25th, 2012

The Gap

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Competition law is like Gruyere cheese.

It is a savory discipline, which is also full of holes and gaps.

Think of the “oligopoly gap“, and the dozens of studies devoted to the notion of collective dominance in the past twenty years.

Think also of the  “unilateral effects” gap, in relation to mergers falling below the single firm dominance threshold.

Think, finally, to the current “enforcement gap” in so far as positive decisions are concerned (i.e. Article 101(3) decisions and Article 10 decisions under Regulation 1/2003).

With all this, it seems competition specialists are  experts at identifying gaps in the existing legal framework. In this context, the GCLC will devote its next lunch talk to the prospective, unsettled question of whether minority shareholdings should be covered under the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR). This possible gap was identified long ago already, but the issue has been revived in the context of the Ryan Air/Aer Lingus case, and following a statement of Commissioner Almunia at the 20th anniversary of the EUMR.

The event will take place in Brussels on 16 March. We have invited C. Rakovsky (DG COMP), G. Berrisch (Covington & Burling) and Y. Botteman (Steptoe and Johnson) to talk at this event. I will not be able to attend because I will be teaching in Russia. But our President B. Van de Walle de Ghelcke will make, as usual, a terrific job chairing the event.

Written by Nicolas Petit

25 February 2012 at 5:11 pm