Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Regulated industries present particularly difficult problems for antitrust because in addition of the usual questions of when and how to intervene, antitrust must also ask whether to leave intervention to promote competition to sector regulators over antitrust enforcers. François Lévêque of the Ecole des Mines de Paris - Centre d'Economie Industrielle (CERNA) discusses these issues in his paper Antitrust Enforcement in the Electricity and Gas Industries: Problems and Solutions for the EU.
ABSTRACT: Antitrust enforcement in the electricity and gas industries raises specific problems that call for specific solutions. Among the issues: How can the anticompetitive effects of mergers be assessed in a changing regulatory environment? Should long-term agreements in energy purchasing be prohibited? What are the benefits of preventive action such as competition advocacy and market surveillance committees? Should Article 82 (a) of the EC Treaty be used to curb excessive pricing?