Competition Law and State Aid in the ‘Brexit White Paper’: sensible alignment or unworkable proposals?

July 26, 2018

(by Andreas Stephan) In a previous blog post, I wrote of the UK Prime Minister’s unexpected discussion of Competition and State Aid, as two areas of policy where the UK’s Laws might remain “identical” to those of the EU, and where UK courts would “continue to look at” the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) judgements. Following a dramatic few weeks in which the UK Government finally set out an agreed approach to its Brexit negotiations with the EU, a 104 page White Paper was published putting some flesh on the principles agreed by ministers. In this blog post, I discuss the extent to which the proposals on Competition and State Aid are workable.

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What could repeal of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 mean for the application of competition law and the English NHS?

May 5, 2015

(By Mary Guy) In view of the significant opposition to the competition provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA 2012), it is unsurprising that several parties are explicitly proposing repeal in their 2015 UK election manifestos. Repeal of the HSCA 2012 appears to offer a neat shorthand for dis-applying competition law with regard to the English NHS. But how do the competition provisions of the HSCA 2012 relate to the application of competition law, and what would repealing them actually achieve? This blog post explores these two questions by specific reference to s.72 HSCA 2012, so “competition law” is defined as the anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance provisions.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

EU Commission Steers Clear of another Antitrust Disaster in Greek Air Transport, but for how long?

February 1, 2011

(by Andreas Stephan) This month, the European Commission blocked the proposed merger between Greece’s two main airlines, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines. What seemed like an insignificant concentration between two minor players in international passenger air transport would have destroyed competition in the market for domestic flights in Greece. Olympic and Aegean make up around 77% of flights out of Athens International Airport. While the decision is beneficial to European air passengers travelling within Greece in the near future, can two Greek airlines survive the economic downturn? Read the rest of this entry »

World Championship Airliner Subsidy Fight (Refereed by WTO) Round 1: USA Wins on Points

July 1, 2010

(by Bruce Lyons) Just six years after the USA first complained about State aid to Airbus, the WTO has today found 16 specific subsidies to be illegal.  Another 11 measures were found not to have broken the rules.   The WTO also decided that the effects had included displaced Boeing exports to Europe and third countries, and reduced potential Boeing sales in the USA.  However, it did not find that the subsidies either had significant price effects or caused Boeing material injury.  The latter conclusion appears to be because Boeing sales and orders grew substantially 2004-06, despite the fact that Airbus had increased its US market share from c.30% in 2001 to c.50% in 2005. Read the rest of this entry »

Vertical Agreements in the Automotive Industry and How Competition Law Got Me £1000 Off a New Car

March 22, 2010

(by Andreas Stephan) Vertical agreements in the car industry continue to be treated more restrictively by EU competition law, than agreements falling under the general verticals block exemption. My experience of buying a new car has been an education in why the car industry should continue to be treated differently. Read the rest of this entry »