Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Carl Baudenbacher (University of St. Gallen - Law) and Frank Bremer (University of St. Gallen - Law) have written on European State Aid and Merger Control in the Financial Crisis—From Negative to Positive Integration.
ABSTRACT: As a response to the financial crisis, the European Commission has permitted Member States to support financial institutions subject to conditions imposed under EU State aid rules. Through these conditions, which were laid down in a special framework, the Commission is tackling inadequate business models in major banks. This has been a Herculean task, but the Commission deserves credit for not succumbing to pressure from Member States' governments to relax the state aid rules. On the other hand, the control of crisis mergers happens according to the normal merger control regime. The Commission also tends to impose structural remedies in this field. However, most crisis mergers were dealt with by national Competition Authorities since they did not have a Community dimension. In both areas, the remedies imposed by the Commission can be described as steps of positive integration.