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Archive for April 13th, 2017

AG Wahl on endives (Part I)

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 AG Wahl delivered two interesting Opinions last week, one on excessive pricing and one on endives. We will comment on the excessive pricing Opinion next week. For now, we bring you a light endive aperitif that enables us to comment on two of our preferred topics: Mr. Wahl and, well, that vegetable…

Indeed, AG Wahl’s Opinions have provided regular food for thought on this blog. In a very short period, and one of relative scarcity of developments, he has had the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to some of the most interesting debates in current competition law and we have followed it all closely, be it on restrictions by object (Cartes Bancaires, see here and here for our comment), on inspections and fishing expeditions (Deutsche Bahn, here and here for our comment), on the limitations to requests for information (Cement cases, here and here for our comment), on the notion of restriction and on the role of facilitators (AC Treuhand, here and here for our comment) and on exclusivity rebates (Intel, here and here for our comments). He was also kind enough to accept our invitation to speak at our first Chillin’Competition conference as well as, most recently, at a seminar in Madrid.

On the other hand, endives…As odd as it sounds, once upon a time this blog was identified with endives. After all both are relatively successful and no one understands why… The fact is that we were the first to react to the endives cartel (see here, including expert views, recipes and pieces on the role of Belgian endives in US politics), given the great interest we created the “Endive Brainstorming Room” (which triggered some of the most profound thoughts in the history of competition rules, see here), we noted that their relationship with competition law was discussed during French Presidential debates (ah, the days when people discussed endives instead of EU referendums!; see here).

Some of you will even remember that our brave pieces of legal journalism on endives [which should definitely have earned us the Antitrust Writing Award in the Belgian Vegetables category 🙂 ] even brought us legal trouble, when Chillin’Competition faced a legal challenge whereby we were asked to abide by endives’ right to be forgotten (see here).

Given our unparalleled coverage of AG Wahl and of endives, we can’t help but think that this was a perfect (and sadly missed) opportunity for the AG to have introduced blog citations into the practice of the CJEU. I guess I’m nostalgic of the days when the great and late AG Ruiz-Jarabo would refer to, for example, Jack Sparrow and Pirates of the Caribbean in his Opinions (see my comment to this post). And, moreover, don’t they say that blogs have now surpassed law reviews?

Pablo and I are so committed to elevating blogs to the category of proper academic commentary that we hereby commit before all of you to do the following:

If AG Wahl cites this blog in any of his future Opinions, Pablo and I will race each other for 5 laps around the Court of Justice in Luxembourg holding endives and wearing shirts from the Swedish national football team (unless he has other preferences) 😉

*Small print note: this commitment is not solely restricted to AG Wahl. If any other AG cites us before, we will do the same, only with apparel from their country of origin or of their choice.

P.S. Ah, yes, we haven’t yet commented on the substance of the Opinion. We’ll leave that for the next post.

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

13 April 2017 at 10:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized