Understanding the significance of Super Bock
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1w ago
Super Bock was one of the major developments of the past year. It is not immediately obvious to draw this conclusion. On its face, the judgment is brief and an Advocate General Opinion was not even deemed necessary. The substance of the ruling is not any more auspicious: the Court does little more than reiterate the consistent line of case law since Cartes Bancaires (and subsequently refined, inter alia, in cases like Maxima Latvija, Generics and Budapest Bank). Alas, the significance of Super Bock has to do precisely with the fact that the Court held, unceremoniously, that resale price maint ..read more
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‘Articles 101 and 102 TFEU must be interpreted consistently’: Superleague and the EU system of undistorted competition
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
2w ago
In Superleague, the Court held that ‘Articles 101 and 102 TFEU must be interpreted consistently’. It is difficult to claim that this statement is novel or groundbreaking. After all, both provisions are parts of a ‘system ensuring that competition is not distorted’. It is therefore only natural that the various components of the legal order are construed in the same way: if they were not, there would not even be a system worthy of the name. In this sense, the EU treaties require the consistent interpretation of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. This idea may well be evident, but its implications are ..read more
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Want to join LSE as a two-year post-doc in competition law?
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
3w ago
LSE Law School is looking for a two-year post-doc (LSE Fellow) in the field of competition law. Further particulars can be found here (you have until 14th April to apply). You would be joining a growing team of competition law specialists, which includes Niamh Dunne, Ayse Gizem Yasar and yours truly. You would also be a full-fledged member of a most dynamic inspiring and dynamic institution. The LSE Fellows scheme is designed to create the perfect conditions for you to flourish as an academic. The teaching load is light and you would have no administrative responsibilities. It really is a gre ..read more
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EU Competition Law and Sports: my presentation at the Institut d’études européennes (ULB)
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
I took stock of the recent case law on the relationship between EU competition law and sports at the Institut d’études européennes (ULB) earlier this week, in the context of the illustrious mardis du droit de la concurrence. The presentation can be accessed here. It focuses on the three judgments delivered by the Court of Justice in December of last year (ISU, Royal Antwerp and Superleague). The fundamental point made in the presentation is that these rulings are best understood as a corrective mechanism, at the margins, of the relationship between governance bodies and participants in sports ..read more
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The ‘as-efficient competitor test’: neither necessary nor sufficient to establish an abuse
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
Last week’s post discussed (here) the ‘as-efficient competitor principle’, which is key to make sense of the case law of the past decade. It also briefly pointed out that it tends to be conflated with the ‘as-efficient competitor test’, which has a much narrower scope of application. The ‘as-efficient competitor test’ is relevant only in a very specific scenario, which is that of conditional rebates. In that context, it might be useful as a more or less accurate filter allowing authorities to spot the schemes that are more likely to cause anticompetitive effects. The logic of the test is not ..read more
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What is even the ‘as-efficient competitor’ principle? It is all about causality
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
The Global Competition Law Centre‘s annual conference took place last Friday and Saturday in Bruges. The best measure of how much of a success it was is that I came back home full of ideas, having learnt a great deal from other speakers. Instead of sharing my presentation, I thought it more interesting to engage with some of the points that were made (in particular those that were recurring issues) and some particularly valuable contributions by other speakers. One of the recurring topics was, unsurprisingly, the (much misunderstood) ‘as-efficient competitor principle’ (which has been discuss ..read more
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Legitimate aims and restrictions by object (II): Selective distribution, Metro I and Pierre Fabre
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
The previous instalment of this series (see here) dealt with the relationship between the Wouters-Meca Medina doctrine and the notion of restricition by object. I explained why, as I understand the law, it is in the nature of things that a practice that is is genuinely necessary to the attainment of a legitimate public interest goal does not have an anticompetitive object. This second instalment deals with the relationship between the ancillary restraints doctrine and restrictions by object. More precisely, it deals with the application of Article 101(1) TFEU to selective distribution agreeme ..read more
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Legitimate aims and restrictions by object (I): Sports, Wouters and Meca Medina
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
A couple of months have passed since Superleague and ISU (as well as Royal Antwerp). One of the most recurrent issues in the stimulating commentary that followed the delivery of the rulings related to the interpretation of Wouters and Meca Medina. The Court held that a practice that amounts to a restriction by object cannot escape Article 101(1) TFEU under the Wouters–Meca Medina doctrine. In the words of the Court (in ISU): ‘113. By contrast, the case-law referred to in paragraph 111 of the present judgment [Wouters and Meca Medina] does not apply either in situations involving conduct ..read more
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Finding consensus in Article 102 cases (I)- When do the Bronner conditions apply? 
Chillin'Competition
by Alfonso Lamadrid
1M ago
Events and discussions around Article 102 are mushrooming in anticipation of the Commission’s draft guidelines on exclusionary abuses, which will likely be subject to public consultation during the summer. Over the next few days I will be taking part in two of those, namely at a BIICL workshop (The future of Article 102 TFEU) in Brussels (today) and at the GCLC’s annual conference in Bruges (Article 102 TFEU- Past, Present, Future) on 1-2 March. (Future conference titles may need to get more creative). One of the elements that makes Article 102 a most attractive topic for both academic debates ..read more
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NEW PAPER | Data leveraging in energy markets in the aftermath of EDF and ENEL
Chillin'Competition
by Pablo Ibanez Colomo
1M ago
I have just uploaded on ssrn a paper (see here), written jointly with Alexis Brunelle (Autorité de la concurrence), Adrien de Hauteclocque (General Court of the EU and Florence School of Regulation) and Juliette Ogez (Autorité de la concurrence). The piece will be coming out in the Handbook of Energy and Competition Law, edited by Leigh Hancher and Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui. The paper revolves around two relatively recent cases involving data leveraging by incumbents in the energy sector. One of them is EDF (available here in French). This case was settled (with commitments) by the French c ..read more
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