Thursday, July 22, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Thomas Jestaedt and Marcus Pollard (both Jones Day) discuss The Application of European Competition Law in the Financial Services Sector.
ABSTRACT: The central role of financial services in the drama of the economic crisis that continues to unfold today, has subjected this sector to enhanced political scrutiny and growing public distrust. However, the application of European competition law in 2009 and the first half of 2010 by the European Commission and the Court of Justice was not thrown off by background noises off-stage. Instead, competition law was applied consistently, rigorously and was successfully targeted as a means of solving the problems in this sector. State aid law was rapidly adjusted and swiftly enforced in over 100 decisions in 2009 alone relating to national schemes in 19 Member States. Following on from a number of high profile banking mergers across the EU in 2008, the last 18 months have seen few significant developments in this area. The merciless application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU continued with antitrust cases and policy being launched or progressed further against rating agencies, payment systems and a number of banks. As we now begin to emerge from the crisis and focus shifts from rescue to regulation, competition law will nonetheless continue to have a key role in this sector with the second half of 2010 bringing the prospect of a number of significant developments.