Competition Law

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  • Created by: Zenab12
  • Created on: 22-04-16 17:37

Introduction

  • Competition law regulates the actions of companies - called undertakings
  • By ensuring the undertakings do not work togther to fix prices or ensure their success by not competing with similar products on the market
  • Allows the 4 freedoms
  • Means of preventing movement can be through State measures
  • Free tarde allows market forces to try and dictate success of companies and their products
  • However companies may undertake restrictive practices to enhance their advanatge
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Article 101 - TFEU

  • States that an agreement that has the effect of restricting competeion is illegal - particuarly if it restricts trade between MS, directly/indirectly fixes prices or shares markets or sources of supply etc.
  • If so there is a fine of 10% of annual turnover and liablility for damages to the parties.
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Undertakings & Agreements

  • Hofner 1991 case shows that an undertaking encompasses every entity in an economic activity
  • Unions are not classifed as undertakings
  • Agreements may comprise of formal agreements or a gentlemans agreement as seen in ACF Com case 1970. There is no need to be active on the market - AG 2008 case shows this

 

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Prevention , Distortion, Restriction

  • Strict interpretation would make many contracts illegal
  • CJEU analyses agreement to determine if it is anti competitive in practice
  • Nungesser case 1982 - showed absolute territorial restriction was prohib
  • Impact on the market ought to be appreciable
  • Exemptions in Art 101 (3) - lists criteria  which must be satisfied for he agreement to be considered exempt - GlaxoSmith  case 2006 - court accepted that agreement was necessary
  • Wouters case 2002 - sound admin of justice
  • Issues that ehance comp are exempt i.e. suupermarkets.
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Concerted Practices

  • Should be demonstration of an agreement or evidence of collusion - concerted practices (CP) - ICI v Com 1972 - defined CP - showed dont need high level of evidence
  • Since market is oligoplistic in nature cartels can only exist in certain circumstances
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Article 102

  • Any abuse which is of a dominant position shall be prohib as it is of no use in the internal market and may affect tarde between MS
  • Dominance may be 3 areas; Product, Geographical, Temporal nature
  • United Brands case 1978 - Bananas were distingushed as a product and thus not sustituted for any other - thus a seperate isolated market
  • Single firm dominance was also definde in the United Brands case 1978
  • Collective Dominace is seen in Italian Flas Glass case 1992 - case shows that the Commission wanted to unite the 3 producers into a single entity on the market
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Abuse under Art 102

  • Abuse defined in Art 102
  • It is something which is distinct from normal competitive practices
  • Akzo v Com 1991 case
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