Oxford Workshop Suggests Appetite for Cartel Criminalisation may be Waning

November 30, 2009

(by Andreas Stephan) The workshop, hosted by the Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy on 12 November, highlighted concerns about Britain’s experience of criminalising cartel conduct. Approaching the subject from a multidisciplinary perspective, leading academics and practitioners in the area of criminal cartel enforcement were particularly critical of the design of the UK offence, and of the two prosecutions brought to date by the Office of Fair Trading. Read the rest of this entry »

The ‘Consumer Welfare’ Delusion in GlaxoSmithKline – A Response to Bruce Lyons

November 25, 2009

(by Pinar Akman) I agree with everything Bruce Lyons has written in his blog entry on GlaxoSmithKline – except for his conclusion. His conclusion is that the ECJ’s judgment in GlaxoSmithKline (6 October 2009) might highlight the need for a professional economist to sit as one of the team of judges in competition appeal cases. Read the rest of this entry »

What Economics Effects Approach? How Europe’s Highest Court Has Thrown a Spanner in the Works

November 20, 2009

(by Bruce Lyons) Buried in the long and technical European Court of Justice judgment in GlaxoSmithKline (6 October 2009), you may not have noticed paragraph 63: “Article 81 aims to protect not only the interests of competitors…” Hang on a minute –Commissioner Neelie Kroes has spent much of the last five years proselytising the excellent message that DG Comp “protects competition, not competitors” and is concerned with consumer welfare.  Although the Commission may have forgotten this message in this particular case, the CFI had been ready to step in to remind them.  Has the ECJ now thrown its black coat over both the CFI and the Commission and taken us back to the 1960s?  Read the rest of this entry »

Murdoch’s ‘Pay Web Walls’ and Challenge of Google Raises Competition Issues

November 9, 2009

(by Andreas Stephan) The Guardian Newspaper (London) has reported on potential Competition Law issues raised by Rupert Murdoch’s planned ‘Pay Web Walls’. In particular, his admission that News Corp has been talking to other publishers about plans for web content charges, and the possibility that they may try to block Google searches of their content entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

Opportunities Missed to Restructure UK Banks

November 4, 2009

(by Bruce Lyons) It seems that the European Commission has reached agreement with the British Government and bailed out banks about the ‘compensatory measures’ required as a quid pro quo for receiving state aid.  It looks like opportunities have been missed. Read the rest of this entry »