Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

EU Competition Law and Contract

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Okeoghene Odudu, University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law explores EU Competition Law and Contract.

ABSTRACT: This chapter explores the courts reaction to a co-contractor who fails to comply with the terms of that contract, but seeks to resist an action for breach of contract by claiming that to enforce the contract would be contrary to EU competition law - the Euro-defence. Reliance on Euro-defences has acquired and retains a distinct pejorative sense amongst judges in the English court. Using Shavell’s basic theory of litigation it is argued that the Euro-defence dilutes the incentive to comply with contracts and also creates a strong incentive for a party with valid contractual rights to settle unmeritorious claims. Using Calkins theory of courts react to litigation strategies it is argued that the judicial reaction has been first to increase the burdens faced by a party wishing to raise the Euro-defence and secondly to reduce the benefit to be had by successfully raising the Euro-defence. The chapter concludes by considering whether the defensive invocation of EU competition law remains as a mechanism for ensuring compliance with competition law.

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