Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Francisco Marcos, Instituto de Empresa Business School discusses A Dangerous Call to Create Crisis Cartels: Notes to Supreme Court Judgment of January 20, 2010.
ABSTRACT: Situations of economic crisis do not justify an exemption to the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements. There is neither a special rule for the agricultural sector that would provide a broad antitrust exemption aside from the common agricultural policy (CAP). The primacy of CAP goals does not mean that the agricultural sector is exempted from the application of competition rules. Only the European Commission and common market organizations’ regulations may, in justified cases, establish limitations to free competition rules. The Supreme Court Judgment of 20 January 2010 makes a mistaken reading of EU case law and introduces a dangerous precedent regarding anticompetitive actions by agricultural producers. The judicial creation of a specific antitrust exemption for the storage of olive oil by producers (to raise its sale prices) violates competition law.