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 »

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 »


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