Chillin'Competition

Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

And the Stupidity of the Day Award goes too….

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In the competition law world there would appear to be too many prizes, awards and things of that sort. If you or your firm haven’t received an award, or at least a nomination, in the past few days, then either you’re a loser or your firm should increase its sponsoring budget 🙂   (before anyone reacts, I’m kidding).

Someone should one day do an awards ranking and give a prize to the worst one. In the meanwhile, we at Chillin’Competition recently created the Stupidity of the Day Award, which is a purely merit-based award given to the person who contributes to the development of competition law and policy with the… most original thought.

Our first proud recipient was the then French Minister for Industry (appointed today Minister for the Economy and New Technologies (!); this is not an April Fools’ Day joke), Arnaud Montebourg, who said that the European Commission lives in a “legal delirium” and “makes up rules that don’t exist in the Treaties in order to perpetuate its powers” and that Vice-President Almunia is an “obsolete liberal integrist”.

And our second winner is….. Arnaud Montebourg again! He’s a goldmine. Look at this excerpt from a recent interview (Le Figaro, 3 février 2014)

“Quand je reçois l’Autorité de la concurrence, je lui dis : vous êtes contre les ententes. Moi, je les organise ! Qui a raison? Vous êtes nommé, je suis élu, donc c’est forcément moi !”

Translation: “When I receive the competition authority I tell them; you’re against agreements between companies. I arrange them! Who’s right? You were appointed, I was elected, so I’m certainly the one who’s right!”

(Thanks a lot to Benoît Durand (RBB) for this little gem!)

When one reads these things a thought comes to mind. Some say the problem with competition policy is that it doesn’t have constituents pushing for it; well, I don’t know; this might be politically incorrect (as if the rest of this post weren’t), but sometimes I’m glad that (for the most part) politicians keep their hands off it. This last thought gives me a new chance to once again promote my priZeless piece Antitrust and the Political Center and the follow-up interview).

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

2 April 2014 at 3:59 pm

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