Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

On conferences, again: Ascola and the ‘more doctrinal approach’ to Article 102 TFEU

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I promised I would come back to you with the slides used by the participants in the conference that took place in Leeds on 15 May. You can find some of them (including Nico’s and mine) here. Thanks again Pinar and Peter!

Another highlight of the past month was the 10th ASCOLA conference, which took place at Meiji University in Tokyo. I had not been in Japan since 2007 and I was delighted to be back. The programme of the event, put together by Professors Paul Nihoul and Iwakazu Takahashi revolved around ‘abuse regulation’. I was lucky enough to discuss some of my recent ideas in the first plenary session, chaired by Professor Eleanor Fox.

In my presentation, I defended the value of what I called the ‘more doctrinal approach’ to abuse of dominance issues. I have become convinced that real progress in our understanding of Article 102 TFEU is likely to come from the sort of traditional legal analysis that has been somewhat neglected in the past few years.

Ultimately, abstract debates about the objectives of EU competition law and/or grand designs about the right approach to abuse of dominance cases tell us very little about the nature of Article 102 TFEU and its likely evolution over time.

Much could be gained, in my view, if academic (and practising) lawyers worked more on tasks such as restating the principles underlying the case law and identifying tensions between individual rulings (as well as reasonable ways in which such tensions could be addressed). As I tried to show in the past couple of posts, legal controversies – and legal change – tend to be less spectacular than we like to believe.

Written by Pablo Ibanez Colomo

1 June 2015 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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