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Competition Law and Policy in the European Union


  • Michael Wise


Competition policy played a central role in the development of the EU and its institutions. The European Commission, supported by the European courts, developed the framework for competition policy in Europe. This framework has been built since the Treaty of Rome in 1957 on a foundation of promoting market opening while strengthening the institutions of the European Community. The competition policy of the European Community is now in transition toward a basis in market-centered economic considerations, as well as on application through the now-extensive network of nationallevel authorities. The “modernisation” reforms of the enforcement process became effective in May 2004, along with changes in the control of mergers, and the Commission has been considering revisions to its policies about other topics, notably abuse of dominance and state aid. As the Member States adapt their substantive rules to those of the Community, the roles of the European Commission, the national competition agencies and the courts are changing. Co-ordination of enforcement among many agencies in the European Community, particularly concerning applications for leniency as part of cartel investigations, is increasingly important. The Commission moved to strengthen its capacity for economic analysis and to correct weaknesses in its decision process that had been revealed in critical court decisions. The challenge to this system, well adapted for administrative application, is to produce results that are convincing to the courts while maintaining policy consistency in a system of decentralised enforcement. This report served as the basis for a peer review in the Competition Committee in 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Wise, 2007. "Competition Law and Policy in the European Union," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 7-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafkaa:5l4fk7vvvxg6

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Cassey & Fukunaga, Yoshifumi, 2014. "ASEAN regional cooperation on competition policy," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 77-91.
    2. repec:aes:amfeco:v:45:y:2017:i:19:p:367 is not listed on IDEAS

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