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The Modernisation of EU Competition Policy : Making the Network Operate


  • Petros C. MAVROIDIS
  • Damien J. NEVEN


This paper does not seek to evaluate whether decentralisation of the implementation of Art.81 ECT is desirable but simply analyses how the network of enforcers envisaged in the White Paper would operate. We identify two issues. We observe that in the proposed framework, simultaneous enforcement by several authorities is likely to occur and that each member states will have little incentive to take into account in its decision the interests of other member states. We show that such system of enforcement can have a "disintegrating effect", to the extent that it does not allow for a balancing between positive and negative net benefits across member states. We suggest that in order to avoid these effects, some co-ordination between the members of the network should be organised. In particular, we advocate the re-emergence in the intra-EC context of a 'positive comity' obligation and we suggest that a formal procedure for co-ordination between different institutions should be laid down (as in the US). We further observe that the accountability of antitrust authorities could deteriorate in the White Paper era. In order to address this concern, we suggest that institutional constraints like accountability and independence standards should be imposed on member states. Finally, drawing on the US experience with multiple enforcement, we argue that the role of the Commission should be as much to manage regulatory innovation (arising from the enforcement activity of member states) as to resolve conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Petros C. MAVROIDIS & Damien J. NEVEN, 2000. "The Modernisation of EU Competition Policy : Making the Network Operate," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 00.17, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:00.17

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    Cited by:

    1. Thibaud Vergé & Estelle Malavolti-Grimal & Frédéric Loss, 2007. "Comment décentraliser la politique européenne de concurrence ?," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 178(2), pages 115-124.
    2. Wolfgang Kerber & Oliver Budzinski, "undated". "Towards a Differentiated Analysis of Competition of Competition Laws," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2004-1-1090, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    3. Loss, Frederic & Malavolti-Grimal, Estelle & Verge, Thibaud & Berges-Sennou, Fabian, 2008. "European competition policy modernization: From notifications to legal exception," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 77-98, January.

    More about this item


    antitrust; institution design;

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General


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