Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for January 9th, 2014

Collaborative research (and some propaganda)

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This WE, I’ll be prepping for the Mardis du droit de la concurrence held at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) next Tuesday. The talk is about recent developments in the law of Article 102 TFEU (read in the last year). This is the propaganda bit of this post.

On substance, not much to report I am afraid. Pity that Intel is still stuck in the judicial pipeline.

So I thought of saying a few words on institutional developments. I’ll make the usual point on Article 9 commitments (and the less usual one that time is ripe for a communication on this, simply to clear away some ambiguities of R1/2003 and streamline the process). I’ll talk also of the // proceedings between CJEU and Commission in the ongoing smartphones war (with its recent article 15 addition) .

But there’s one thing I would like to do above all: question whether the Commission is sufficiently staffed to handle the flood of complaints that have been lodged before it, and in particular, before Unit C/3, Antitrust, IT, Internet and Consumer electronics. For this, I’d need more specific info on the number of formal complaints lodged. But despite the wealth of info available on COMP’s website, there’s no registry of formal complaints :(.

I have already asked this information to the official in charge, but they are understandably not able to disclose it.

So I today turn to you: could you help me re-compile the list of formal cases/complaints currently lodged before unit C/3? You can post this info as comment to this post or email me at

I also buy info on “ghost cases”, ie forgotten cases that are no longer on the radar screen of external observers: Dupont/Honeywell, Mathworks, Wikileaks, spare part cases etc.

And finally, I am a taker of any information of cases which have been relegated to the low end of the priority list of this Commission.

Besides this, I’ll submit that substantive law developments yield institutional effects. In my opinion, but this is my opinion only, the forms-based approach is in part responsible for the flurry of – weak – complaints that have been brought before COMP.

It is so elastic that it offers ammunition for ludicrous grievances. Yet another reason to embrace fully the economic approach of Article 102 TFEU.

PS: I Article 9-commit to negotiate a free ticket for those who help.

Written by Nicolas Petit

9 January 2014 at 3:01 pm

Pomposity v Social Value in Legal (and Antitrust) Scholarship

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I just saw this graph on Prof. Einer Elhauge’s LinkedIn account; the original source is Eric Posner’s blog (yes, the son of Richard Posner and a big name in his own right too).

I’d be curious to know about the underlying methodology (economic analysis seems to favor economy-related disciplines). It would seem as if an antitrust legal scholar had asked an economist to come up with a seemingly scientific study corroborating a given thesis. Not that this would ever happen in private practice…  🙂

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

9 January 2014 at 1:12 pm