Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, March 13, 2010

European State Aid 2010 - How State aid is applied and interpreted

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

 

European State Aid 2010
- How State aid is applied and interpreted

Friday 7 May 2010, The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London W1

 

 

Chairman:

Katherine Holmes
Consultant, Reed Smith LLP
Member, Competition Commission

 


Failure to comply with the State aid rules might result in significant financial risk for businesses, and complex legal proceedings, as well as action against the Member State. Grants of aid, or proposals to grant aid, are often challenged by competitors.

GCR has brought together a highly experienced and talented team to guide you through what you need to know about the EU's State aid rules - whether your role is in government, in a business seeking or receiving governmental support, or for a competitor of a recipient of government support.

 

Register Online

 



Distinguished speakers from the European Commission; the Competition Commission; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as well as leading lawyers and economists include:


 

Kelyn Bacon
Brick Court Chambers

Christian Ahlborn
Partner, Linklaters LLP

Barbara Brandtner
Head of Unit, DG Competition
European Commission

James Robinson
Partner, Eversheds LLP

Edith Templeton
State Aid Branch
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Luis Correia da Silva
Managing Director, Oxera

 

Christopher Vajda QC
Monckton Chambers

Cyrus Mehta
Partner, Nabarro

Antonio Bavasso
Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

Andrea Coscelli
Director of Economic Analysis
Competition Group, Ofcom

Marjorie Holmes
Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Vincent Power
Partner,
A&L Goodbody Solicitors

 

 

 

Register Online

 



Practical advice and expert comment on:


• When is State finance not aid? Definition of State aid, services of general economic interest (SGEIs), the market economy investor principle (MEIP)
• Criteria for approval of State aid and an overview of the block exemption regime
• The EU Commission's current practice and policy - experience of the past year
• The UK's current practice and policy - the Temporary Framework - pros and cons
• Restructuring aid - should aid be granted to firms in difficulty?
• Remedies
• Closing the funding gap - State aid in public-private projects
• Focus on special sectors
:
- Communications and broadcasting
- State aid in Transport - what the transport sector needs to know and what other sectors can learn

 

 

CONFERENCE FEES

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FORTHCOMING GCR CONFERENCES

 

 

 

The New Vertical Restraints Regime - The rules and how they will apply

 

8 June 2010, The Stanhope Hotel, Brussels

 

 

 

International Merger Control

 

A major international conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation
28 & 29 September 2010, Brussels

 

 

 

2010 Antitrust Litigation

 

October 2010, London

 

 

 

GCR's 2010 Competition Law Review

 

In-depth analysis and debate on recent developments in competition law and policy
16 & 17 November 2010, Brussels

 

 

 

For further details on any of these events please contact
gcrconference@GlobalCompetitionReview.com

 

 

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March 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Economic Nationalism in Mergers and Acquisitions

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Serdar Dinc (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Isil Erel (Ohio State University) analyze Economic Nationalism in Mergers and Acquisitions.

ABSTRACT: This paper studies the government reaction to large corporate merger attempts in the European Union during 1997-2006 using hand-collected data. It documents widespread economic nationalism in which the government reaction depends on the nationality of the acquiring company. The nationalism takes place both as resistance to foreign acquirers and as support for domestic ones. This nationalism has both direct and indirect economic impact. The paper shows that government intervention is very effective in preventing foreign bidders from completing the merger and in helping domestic bidders succeed. The paper also demonstrates that nationalistic government reactions deter, indirectly, foreign companies from bidding for other companies in a country in the future.

March 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Advance Production, Inventories and Market Power: An Experimental Investigation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Douglas D. Davis (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business) has a paper on Advance Production, Inventories and Market Power: An Experimental Investigation.

ABSTRACT: This paper reports an experiment conducted to assess the effects of alterations in production conditions and product durability on market power in Bertrand-Edgeworth duopolies. Experiment results indicate that advance production increases market power in the sense that mean transaction prices increase relative to static Nash equilibrium predictions for a baseline market. In a similar way, a simple inventory option reduces market power. We also find that both advance production and inventory carryover undermine a strong tendency toward tacit collusion observed in our baseline duopoly markets.

March 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Can Antitrust Prevent Too Big to Fail?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Today I am in New York to present at a conference at Fordham Law School on New Ideas for Limiting Bank Size- the Murphy Conference on Corporate Law. Most papers are by non-antitrust people who want antitrust to be used as a weapon to prevent firms of a specific size to emerge in the financial institutions sector.  My basic point will be that if people are worried about systemic risk, antitrust is not the proper tool.  If people are worried merely about size, antitrust also is not meant to limit size.  Antitrust cares about competition.  Also, many of the papers seem fixated by market shares.  This is merely a starting off point in antitrust analysis - not the end point. 

March 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Philippe Aghion, Richard Blundell, Rachel Griffith, Peter Howitt, and Susanne Prantl address The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity.

ABSTRACT: How does firm entry affect innovation incentives in incumbent firms? Microdata suggest that there is heterogeneity across industries. Specifically, incumbent productivity growth and patenting is positively correlated with lagged greenfield foreign firm entry in technologically advanced industries, but not in laggard industries. In this paper we provide evidence that these correlations arise from a causal effect predicted by Schumpeterian growth theory—the threat of technologically advanced entry spurs innovation incentives in sectors close to the technology frontier, where successful innovation allows incumbents to survive the threat, but discourages innovation in laggard sectors, where the threat reduces incumbents’ expected rents from innovating. We find that the empirical patterns hold using rich micro panel data for the United Kingdom. We control for the endogeneity of entry by exploiting major European and U.K. policy reforms, and allow for endogeneity of additional factors.We complement the analysis for foreign entry with evidence for domestic entry and entry through imports.

March 12, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The State of European Competition Law and Enforcement in a Transatlantic Context

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Skadden hosts

The State of European Competition Law and Enforcement in a Transatlantic Context
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
9:00 a.m. | Registration
9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Panel Discussions
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
Skadden's Antitrust and European Union / International Competition practices invite you to join us for an interactive program on the state of competition law in a transatlantic context.
Please contact Christine Horan at christine.horan@skadden.com by March 12.
This program will provide New York CLE credit.
Panel Discussions
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Effects-Based Approach and Use of Economic Evidence
Featured Speaker
Damien Neven | Chief Economist | DG Competition
Panelists
Clifford Aronson | Skadden
Professor Janusz Ordover | New York University
Professor Paul Seabright | IDEI Toulouse School of Economics
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Recent Developments in Merger Control
Panelists
Rachel Brandenburger | Special Advisor, International | Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Götz Drauz | Howrey LLP
Steven Sunshine | Skadden
Professor Robert Willig | Princeton University
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Luncheon
Featured Speaker
Philip Lowe | Former Director General | DG Competition
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Private Actions, Procedural Reform and Transatlantic Cooperation
Featured Speaker
Carles Esteva Mosso | Director - Directorate A | DG Competition
Panelists
Rachel Brandenburger | Special Advisor, International | Antitrust Division,
U.S. Department of Justice
Shepard Goldfein | Skadden
Professor Paul Seabright | IDEI Toulouse School of Economics
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Cartel Activity and Enforcement Actions
Featured Speaker
Olivier Guersent | Former Director - Cartel Unit | DG Competition
Panelists
C. Benjamin Crisman | Skadden
Luc Gyselen | Arnold & Porter LLP
Jacques Steenbergen | Director General | Belgian Competition Authority
Closing Remarks
Barry Hawk | Director | Fordham Competition Law Institute
Moderators
Frederic Depoortere | Skadden
Ingrid Vandenborre | Skadden
James Venit | Skadden

March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FTC v. Intel: Applying the 'Consumer Choice' Framework to 'Pure' Section 5 Allegations

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Bob Lande (Baltimore - Law) has penned FTC v. Intel: Applying the 'Consumer Choice' Framework to 'Pure' Section 5 Allegations.

ABSTRACT: This short article analyzes the "pure" Section 5 allegations in the recent FTC complaint against Intel. It first shows that Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act is more encompassing than the Sherman Act and why this breath is in the public interest. It next analyzes allegations from the Intel Complaint, showing why each appears to be in the public interest yet might not be permitted by the Sherman Act. It also discusses other advantages that would arise if these charges were litigated under Section 5 rather than the Sherman Act.

The article notes assertions by Intel and others that any interpretation of Section 5 that goes beyond the Sherman Act is unduly or even unconstitutionally unpredictable and without principles. As a reaction, in its final section the article briefly explains the "consumer choice" approach to antitrust. The article concludes by demonstrating that if the Commission employs the consumer choice framework, any violation of Section 5 will be both in the public interest and not unduly standardless, regardless whether that conduct also would violate the Sherman Act.

March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rethinking Antitrust Policy Toward RPM

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

John Kirkwood (Seattle - Law) contemplates Rethinking Antitrust Policy Toward RPM.

ABSTRACT: Resale price maintenance is a particularly dangerous vertical intrabrand restraint. Because of its direct impact on price competition, it is likely to harm consumers in a substantial number of cases. At the same time, RPM is likely to benefit consumers in a significant number of other cases. Given these mixed effects, the ideal legal standard would distinguish between instances in which RPM is anticompetitive and those in which it is procompetitive. While Leegin thought that the full rule of reason could play this role, it did not acknowledge what every scholar who has looked at the issue has found – that the full rule of reason has operated in practice as a standard of virtual per se legality, absolving almost every restraint examined. This article proposes an alternative approach – a presumption of illegality combined with safe harbors – and explains why it is likely to produce better results at lower cost.

March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Review of the Implications of Competition Law Implications of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Nicolas Petit & Norman Neyrinck (University of Liege) provide A Review of the Implications of Competition Law Implications of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

ABSTRACT: Most competition lawyers tend to view the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU"), which followed the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, as business as usual. While the cosmetics of European Union ("EU") competition law have undeniably changed with the renumbering of the competition provisions in the TFEU, its fundamentals are generally perceived as stable. This interpretation is, in turn, based on the belief that the Lisbon Treaty primarily sought to address a variety of profound, structural defects of the EU institutional framework, and was thus only remotely concerned with the practice of competition law.

This article investigates whether this assumption is correct. To this end, it is divided into two parts. Part I reviews the competition law provisions of the TFEU and seeks to compare them to the provisions of the now defunct Treaty establishing the European Community ("the EC Treaty"). Part II seeks to determine whether the amendment of a number of transversal, non competition-specific provisions is likely to impact the practice of competition law.

March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DOJ Antitrust/Department of Agriculture Updated Speaker List for Iowa Workshop

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Who said that executive agency people are not subject to political pressure to the legislative branch?  After some strong political pressure by members of Congress, more small farmers (a politically powerful and well organized group) have been invited to participate in the Iowa program, as DOJ unveiled its new speakers list today.  This shows how in one important way, agriculture is different from other areas of antitrust.  At recent DOJ/FTC antitrust hearings in other areas, it has been a more practitioner and academic oriented crowd.  This of course begs the question of why not also expand the hearings to have some individual consumers of agricultural products also (like people who shop at supermarkets) describe what matters for them in terms of agriculture.  I suspect that we might have a wide variety of opinions from "price is everything" to "I care about sustainability in agriculture".  At least the new speakers will help make the event a more high profile one within the US news media.

As I have argued before, can we begin by asking every single panelist who has a financial stake in their presentation?  Similarly, for those that represent interest groups, can we get a sense of which deep pockets with an interest in the proceedings fund those groups?  At least the top 10 donors?  Increased transparency in the hearings among speakers would be better because it would allow us to better understand some of the biases that might emerge in the panels.  This is not to suggest that people might not have already had these biases.  Rather, it merely allows us to take some of their claims with a grain of salt.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A Simple Theory of Predation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Chiara Fumagalli, Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Massimo Motta, University of Bologna - Econ provide A Simple Theory of Predation.

ABSTRACT: We propose a simple theory of predatory pricing, based on scale economies and sequential buyers (or markets). The entrant (or prey) needs to reach a critical scale to be successful. The incumbent (or predator) is ready to make losses on earlier buyers so as to deprive the prey of the scale it needs, thus making monopoly profits on later buyers. Several extensions are considered, including markets where scale economies exist because of demand externalities or two-sided market effects, and where markets are characterised by common costs. Conditions under which predation may take place in actual cases are also discussed.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conduct Specific Tests? How the FTC Can Reframe the Section 5 Debate

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Amanda Reeves (FTC) discusses Conduct Specific Tests? How the FTC Can Reframe the Section 5 Debate.

ABSTRACT: Over the last few years, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has awakened Section 5’s “unfair methods of competition” prong from its slumber and ignited a debate about when, if ever, it is proper to use Section 5 to reach conduct beyond the Sherman Act’s four corners. Complicating matters is the dearth of federal court guidance on the issue.  It has been a quarter of a century since any federal court has opined on Section 5’s scope and nearly 40 years since the Supreme Court last chimed in. Consequently, discussions about Section 5’s reach often sound as if they are occurring in a doctrinal vacuum with proponents of Section 5 relying on the statute’s legislative history; opponents arguing that, as a policy matter, there should rarely be a need to resort to Section 5; and those in the middle trying to achieve consensus on limiting principles.

While the Supreme Court has said nothing during this period about Section 5, it has been vocal about its views on antitrust common law more generally, asserting that antitrust rules need to be administrable and predictable. That emphasis has undoubtedly spurred the important search for limiting principles, but the identification of those principles should only be part of the Section 5 doctrinal equation. If and when the Commission provides the federal courts with an opportunity to revisit Section 5, the Commission is most likely to succeed if it persuades the courts that it has applied Section 5 in a predictable fashion. The Commission can do so if it pleads conduct-specific theories of liability (as opposed to just an “unfair method of competition”) and, in consent orders and opinions, identifies conduct-specific tests that govern those theories of liability.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Peter Carstensen on the DOJ Antitrust/Department of Agriculture Hearings

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Listen here (right hand side of the page for the download) to his thoughts about why the workshops are necessary and what regulatory actions he hopes will follow.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why the EU Merger Regulation Should Not Enjoy a Monopoly Over Tacit Collusion - A Close Look at Five Common Misconceptions

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Nicolas Petit (University of Liege - Law) and David Henry (Howrey) explore Why the EU Merger Regulation Should Not Enjoy a Monopoly Over Tacit Collusion - A Close Look at Five Common Misconceptions.

ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, the European Commission (“the Commission”) has adopted a stance whereby the implementation of ex ante, structural merger rules is deemed more appropriate when seeking to challenge tacit collusion than ex post, behavioural instruments (e.g. on the basis of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (“TFEU”). As a result, the EU merger regulation (“EUMR”) is the preferred, if not sole, legal instrument deployed by the Commission in order to avert any potential risk of tacit collusion. Since the entry into force of the EUMR, the number of Commission decisions in which the future emergence of risks of collective dominance was examined lies in the region of 130. In stark contrast, and despite pronouncements of the General Court (“GC”, or the Court) that Article 102 TFEU may apply to tacit collusion, the Commission has not yet taken a single decision enforcing Article 102 TFEU against tacitly collusive oligopolies. Similarly, the stillness of the 2009 Guidance Communication on Enforcement Priorities in applying Article 102 TFEU in this context implicitly confirms the Commission’s reluctance to use the abuse of dominance rules in order to address the phenomenon of tacit collusion.

Overall, within the realm of EU competition law, the provisions of the EUMR de facto enjoy a jurisdictional monopoly over issues pertaining to collective dominance. The present article challenges the conventional view that tacit collusion should be exclusively addressed through the use of the EUMR. To this end, it examines and seeks to set straight five widespread misconceptions on which such view is based.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

EU Competition Law in 2010: Change or Continuity

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Eric Morgan de Rivery (Jones Day) discusses EU Competition Law in 2010: Change or Continuity.

ABSTRACT: The Lisbon Treaty and the new Commission should not lead to major changes in the implementation of EU competition law, unless what has been regarded on the part of certain governments as an attempt to use the crisis to promote an intergovernmental approach instead of an integrated Commission leadership prevails.

March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Intel Cases—Legal Convergence or Leaps of Faith?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kent Bernard (Fordham Law School) asks The Intel Cases—Legal Convergence or Leaps of Faith?

ABSTRACT: Intel has managed to find itself in the cross-hairs of the antitrust authorities in Brussels and in Washington D.C. It is doubtful if that was a part of its corporate goals at any recent time.

With its decision dated May 13, 2009, the European Commission held that Intel violated what was then Article 82 by abusing its dominant position in a market defined as Central Processing Units (“CPUs”) of the x86 architecture. Intel allegedly did so by offering various kinds of rebates to potential customers for the units, some of whom were the world’s largest computer manufacturers. The Commission fined Intel a record EUROs 1.06 billion. While that case raises many issues, some of which will be discussed below, the basic legal structure is not being touted as something totally new. The Commission claims that, although it is running a new “effects based” analysis using the “as efficient competitor” test, it also is applying its traditional Article 82 legal approach to the facts as found. However, a careful review of what is known to date suggests that the Commission is indeed trying to move in a new direction, and it is a roadway that was paved in U.S. law some 35 years ago. Whether it can get there is up to the courts. Whether it should get there, will be discussed below.

On December 16, 2009 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), not to be outdone, brought its own action against Intel. The FTC’s administrative complaint charges that Intel carried out an anticompetitive campaign, using threats and rewards aimed at computer manufacturers, to coerce those manufacturers not to buy rival computer CPU chips. The FTC also alleges that Intel used exclusive- or restrictive-dealing provisions to prevent computer makers from marketing any machines with non-Intel computer chips.

Finally, it is alleged that Intel secretly redesigned key software, known as a compiler, to degrade the performance of competitors’ CPU chips. On this theory, Intel could, and did, truthfully tell customers that software performed better on Intel CPUs than on competitors’ CPUs, but they failed to disclose that these differences were due largely or entirely to Intel’s compiler design.

Unlike in the Commission proceeding, the FTC Complaint and, especially, the statements issued by two Commissioners, acknowledges there is a new legal approach being taken (albeit alongside some traditional allegations). And, completing the analytical circle, that new U.S. approach seems to adopt a view of Section 5 of the FTC Act that is borrowed in large parts from the Commission Article 82 cases (while resolutely claiming that this approach is what the drafters of the U.S. statute some 96 years ago intended all along).

While this article will discuss the allegations and analyses of the European and the U.S. cases, our focus will be on what appears at first blush to be an odd convergence of legal theory across the Atlantic Ocean. Our question is not simply whether the point at which both systems seems to be aiming is a “correct” one. What concerns us is whether if both sides approach, but do not reach their goals, they will make things far worse rather than better.

March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Buyer Market Power and Vertically Differentiated Retailers

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Shinn-Shyr Wang, University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Eugene M. Isenberg School of Management, Christian Rojas, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Nathalie Lavoie, University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Natural Resources & the Environment - Department of Resource Economics have explained Buyer Market Power and Vertically Differentiated Retailers.

ABSTRACT: We consider a model of vertical competition where downstream firms (retailers) purchase an upstream input from a monopolist and are able to differentiate from each other in terms of quality. Our primary focus is to study the effects of introducing a large retailer, such as a Wal-Mart Supercenter, that is able to lower wholesale prices (i.e. buyer market power). We obtain two main results. First, the store with no buyer market power responds to the presence of the large retailer by increasing its quality, a finding that is consistent with recent efforts by traditional retailers to enhance shoppers’ buying experience (i.e. quality). Second, the presence of a large retailer causes consumer welfare to increase. There are, however, two reasons for the increase in consumer welfare: consumers gain from the large retailer’s low price (because the upstream discount is partially passed on to the retail price) as well as from the high quality level offered by the traditional retailer. Contrary to the conventional wisdom most of the consumer welfare gains seem due to the latter. The intuition for this result is that price competition softens substantially as a result of firms’ quality differentiation. We also investigate the effects of buyer market power on retail and wholesale prices as well as on producer welfare.

March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dynamic Price Competition with Network Effects

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Luis M.B. Cabral, IESE Buxiness School, explores Dynamic Price Competition with Network Effects.

ABSTRACT: I consider a dynamic model of competition between two proprietary networks. Consumers die and are replaced with a constant hazard rate; and firms compete for new consumers to join their network by offering network entry prices. I derive a series of results pertaining to: a) existence and uniqueness of symmetric equilibria, b) monotonicity of the pricing function (e.g., larger networks set higher prices), c) network size dynamics (increasing dominance vs. reversion to the mean), and d) firm value (how it varies with network effects). Finally, I apply my general framework to the study of termination charges in wireless telecommunications. I consider various forms of regulation and examine their impact on firm profits and market share dynamics.

March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Developments in Private Enforcement of Italian Antitrust Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Alberto Martinazzi (Labaton Sucharow) explains Developments in Private Enforcement of Italian Antitrust Law.

ABSTRACT: As from January 1, 2010, a new procedural tool for the protection of consumers, the class action, is now available in the Italian legal system. Class actions constitute a new instrument consumers can rely on for the safeguard of certain individual rights already enforceable with individual lawsuits before courts. Thus, class actions are an alternative, rather than a substitute, to the existing judicial remedies available to consumers, which are by no means affected by the entry into force of the class action.

The Italian legislation on class actions was initially sketched out in the 2006 Codice del Consumo (hereafter “Consumer Act”) and then largely reshaped in July 2009 by Law n. 99/09 amending the Consumer Act. While the new rules apply from January 1, a partial retroactivity regime allows for class actions to be brought forward in respect to events occurred on or after August 16, 2009 (the actual date of entry into force of Law n. 99/09).

The matters which can trigger a class action are: i) contractual liability of an undertaking stemming from application of disproportionate obligations excessively bearing on the consumer party; ii) tort liability for damages caused to consumers by defaulting products; and iii) liability for damages suffered by consumers as a consequence of an undertaking’s unfair commercial practices or anticompetitive conducts.

Pursuant to the new regime, a single complainant is now entitled to lodge, on behalf of a group of individuals sharing an identical position and the same interest vis-à-vis a given undertaking, a civil lawsuit against the same undertaking for compensation of damages caused as a consequence of unlawful conducts impacting on consumers.

It is important to note that, according to general rules, class actions can only aim to recover actual damages suffered by consumers, punitive damages being expressly non-pursuable in the Italian legal system.


March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mexican Cartels Under Attack

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Drug cartels are not the only cartels under attack, as this story in The Economist explains.  Kudos to Eduardo Perez Mota and his enforcement team at the Comisión Federal de Competencia (CFC).

March 8, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)