The area of EC Competition Law has experienced major structural and substantial changes over the past two decades. The last decade of reforms of EC Competition Law is often cited as the « modernisation process » . Since competition rules always apply to a « market », this notion have been at the center of the evolution of EC Competition. As such, it seems necessary to define concretely this term. Indeed, competition do not exist in abstract. It is a practical fact. Throughout the evolution of EC Competition Law, the significant debate about this notion, its definition, characteristics and boundaries reveal the fact that this instrument is at the center of EC Competition Law. To validate our statement, we can look at what the Court of First Instance tell us about this tool : « the appropriate definition of the market in question is a necessary precondition of any judgment concerning allegedly anti competitive behavior » . The European Court of Justice also stated that “the definition of the market is of fundamental significance” .
[...] The balance between advantages and imperfections The Commission's Notice was really welcomed since it offered transparency and adopt an economical point of view. However, some concerns have been expressed about the specialised knowledge that judges need to have now : relative lack of competition knowledge and experience among those who will have responsibility for making competition law decisions may be the most significant obstacle to the success of the modified system”. In order to avoid this issue, training for decision- makers must be provided and lawyers have to get used to work in partenership with economists. [...]
[...] The next few years will show us to what extent EC Competition Law achieved its goal Bibliography Books Law and Competition in Twentieth Century Europe, David J. GERBER, Oxford EC Competition Law, Robert Lane, Longman EC and UK Competition Law, Maher M. DABBAH, Cambridge EC Competition Law, Second Edition, Alison JONES and Brenda SUFRIN, Oxford Articles Applying the Market Definition Guidelines of the European Commission Simon BAKER and Lawrence WU, European Common Law Review p. 273-280 Modernising European Competition Law : A Developmental Perspective David J. [...]
[...] This change of approach is really important and warm welcomed by specialists, firms and Members States. world of competition law and policy for decades driven by lawyers, is now increasingly the preserve of economists”. Indeed, looking at the cases, obviously law is involved but the decisions taken are essentially economical. The United Brands case is a really good example. Indeed the ECJ gave its definition of a dominant position : dominant position relates to a position of economic strength enjoyed by an undertaking which enables it to prevent effective competition being maintained in the relevant market by giving it the power to behave to an appreciable extent independently of its competitors, customers and ultimately of its consumers”. [...]
[...] II/ The relevant market : a useful tool to be improved Both the notions of market and relevant market arise issues when it comes to apply the definition in practice Therefore, the users of this key tool of EC Competition Law have always to keep in mind the necessary balance between avantages and inconvenients The imperfections of the definition of the relevant market Our purpose here is not to argue about the definition and the uncertainty of words used by the Commission such as interchangeability, substituability, boundaries of the market and so on. [...]
[...] Commission Case 234/89, Delimitis v Henninger Braeu AG Case C-242/95, GT-Link Case C-306/96, Javico v Yves Saint Laurent Case C-7/97, Oscar Bronner GmbH v Mediaprint Legislation Article 81 EC TREATY Article 82 EC TREATY Regulation 139/2004 Other Notice on the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Community competition Law, Official Journal, 9/12/1997, C372 http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/annual_reports/rap97_en.html : XXVIIth Report on Competition Policy Judicial Remedies under EC Competition Law : Complex Issues arising from the Modernisation Process , D. GERARDIN and N. [...]
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