Thursday, March 31, 2016

Need for Competition Law – Discussing the Case of Georgia

Zurab Gvelesiani, Central European University analyzes the Need for Competition Law – Discussing the Case of Georgia. To my knowledge, this is the first English language paper I have seen about Georgia.

ABSTRACT: The article deals with the question whether the market needs to be regulated and if competition law is a desirable regulatory instrument for developing countries such as Georgia. This issue is not merely theoretical in nature, but reflects Georgia’s actual developments throughout the last decade when the country first repelled its existing antimonopoly law, since it was seen as unnecessary and hindering economic development, and yet later reintroduced it once again. For years Georgia was not regulating its market and, as the newly set up Competition Agency is starting to take its first steps, the question of the rationality for pro-competitive state intervention raises again. The chosen jurisdiction is unique for its unusual development path and history. It is even more special because of this particular point in time, witnessing the birth-phase of yet another competition law jurisdiction and the launching of its competition law enforcement authority. The article is dedicated to questions which are widely disputed in society, among politicians, in the media, within the local NGO sector etc. However, the academic community has not yet written much about them. This paper aims to fill this gap and encourage further academic discussion on this topic. Due to the limited number of academic sources and case-law in this field, a variety of sources has been used in this paper including: dissertations, reports of international organizations and local NGOs, personal interviews, blogs and so forth. The article is divided into sections. It starts by reviewing the evolution of competition law in Georgia and demonstrates its illogical development pattern. It moves on to outline the background and motivations present in Georgia at moments when breakthrough decisions were taken regarding its competition law regime. The article describes and analyses processes that took place on the un-regulated Georgian market in the last ten years. Based on the findings, it researches the question of the desirability of competition law, that is, whether Georgian market needs such state intervention, and what are the main challenges facing the effective enforcement of its recently adopted competition law.

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