Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Alexandr Svetlicinii, European University Institute - Department of Law addresses the ECJ's Ruling in Beef Industry Case: Competition Law Must Be Observed at All Times.
ABSTRACT: The importance of the ECJ's Beef Industry judgment is at least two-fold: (1) in relation to application of the Article 81 EC the Court clarified that the concept of "agreements by object" is not limited to the hard-core restrictions listed in the Article 81(1) EC, and confirmed the step-by-step method for assessing the compatibility of an agreement with the specified legal rules; (2) the judgment also sent a more general message to undertakings, who following the decentralization of competition law enforcement brought about by Regulation 1/2003 appeared in a position where they have to make their own assessment of the compatibility of their agreements and common policies with the competition rules. In particular, the judgment gives a clear warning to distressed industries that hard economic times do not justify anti-competitive agreements and practices.