Nicolaides, Phedon (2002) Reform of EC Competition Policy: A Significant but Risky Project. EIPASCOPE, 2002 (2). pp. 1-6.
The regulation that applies the anti-trust provisions of the EC Treaty was adopted in 1962. Since then, it has been largely left unchanged. This regulation confers to the European Commission the exclusive right to exempt agreements between companies from the prohibition contained in the anti-trust rules. The regulation will soon be repealed. If member states agree, its place will be taken by a new regulation that will allow national competition authorities and national courts to exempt agreements between companies. Since this new system of competition enforcement has never before been tried in the EU, it is not clear how it will affect companies and their operations and how national authorities and courts will work together to ensure effective enforcement of competition rules. This article examines the main provisions of the proposed new regulation and considers their likely impact on the effectiveness of competition enforcement in an enlarged European Union.
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