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Competition Policies

Author: Nathalie JALABERT-DOURY et al

Type: Free Article : News

ref: 32009363-382

N0:3 of 2009

Pages: 363-382


This Chronicle analyses competition authorities’ reactions to the economic and financial crisis, as well as anti-competitive practices, state aids, and mergers.
Regarding State aids, the Chronicle discusses the set up of a dedicated economic crisis team by the European Commission, the adoption of a temporary framework in order to support access to finance by companies, the Notice of the Commission concerning the recapitalization of financial institutions, as well as the delicate subject of aid to the automobile sector.
Concerning mergers at the EC level, the Chronicle deals with the question of a more flexible approach towards merger control, and the approach taken by some Member states (for example, the Lloyds/HBOS case and the OFT position on the failing firms' defence). The United States is also addressed with the decision from Wells Fargo/Wachovia.
Regarding anti-competitive practices, at the EC level, the Chronicle deals with the maintenance of severity, the on-going adoption process of the telecom regulation, and the question of the fines policy of the new Autorité de la Concucurrence in France. At the international level, the Chronicle examines the strengthening competition law enforcement in Norway, the record fines inflicted in the oil sector in Russia, the adoption of the competition law Reform in Brazil, the firm approach towards cartels in South Africa and the consideration of a more lenient application of antitrust laws in Korea.
Finally, international cooperation is also addressed, more particularly with the assertion of the OECD role in this crisis context (example of the 8th Global Forum on Competition focused crisis management) and with the WTO warnings against protectionism in a time of financial crisis.

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