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European Competition Law Essay

1936 words - 8 pages

Introduction:

European Competition Law offers a unique area where law and economics interact to produce an effective internal market. One of the goals in EU Competition law is to avoid markets and companies to be abuse or to fail. Under EU legislation concerning competition law states that ‘direct effect of the prohibitions laid down in Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty that any individual can claim compensation for the harm suffered, where there is a causal relationship between that harm and an infringement of the EU competition rules.’ Damages claims for infringements on Article 101 and 102 TFEU consider being an important area of the private enforcement system. Infringements of Competition Law can harm not only companies and consumers, but also can affect Europe as a whole. Even though the EU public and private enforcement systems have different objectives, they do effects each other. The EU has a more of a public enforcement approach, while the US has a more private enforcement approach. The purpose of the essay is to identify whether EU law manage to maintain a balance of public and private enforcement, comparing it with other enforcement systems. The first part of the essay focuses on the EU legislation concerning the public and private enforcement legislation. This will give a better understanding on Europe’s approach towards the enforcement systems. The second part of the essay will explain in detail the public and private enforcement. The third part of the essay will concentrate on the existing difficulties between the enforcement systems and the new Directive proposed by the Commission. The fourth part of the essay will compare the US and EU enforcement systems and then evaluate whether the EU should take similar approach. The last part of the essay will focus on the interaction of public and private enforcement systems and assess whether the EU law manage to keep a balance between them.

Background:

Competition law provisions can be found in Article 101, 102, 107 TFEU and the Merger Regulation, all of those prohibit anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance. In order to achieve the objectives of the antitrust rules, EU needs an effective enforcement system for enforcing EU Competition Law. Any infringement of the EU Competition rules does not only affect the internal market, but affects the consumers as well. The infringement of competition law usually occurs when there is an abuse of a dominant position or price cartels. Since the CJEU’s judgment in the Courage v Crehan case, it gave the right for direct applicant of community law and the civil consequences of competition law infringement. Courts judgment gave the right to claim damages, whether it is individuals to a Member States or individual against individual. The CJEU emphasize the fact that that individuals or companies who suffer any kind of harm from a breach of competition law, are then ‘entitled to compensation from the infringers.’ European competition...

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