Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Evolution of EU Antitrust Policy: 1966–2017

The Evolution of EU Antitrust Policy: 1966–2017

Pablo Ibáñez Colomo

London School of Economics - Law Department

Andriani Kalintiri

King's College London


This article describes, and puts in context, the evolution of the enforcement practice of the European Commission in the area of EU antitrust law (Articles 101 and 102 TFEU). It considers all formal decisions adopted in the period between 1966 – when the European Court of Justice delivered the two seminal rulings that marked the discipline – and the end of 2017. The article classifies Commission decisions in accordance with four enforcement paradigms. The descriptive statistics show that the cases that the Commission chooses to prioritise have changed over the years. First, enforcement has progressively moved towards the core and the outer boundaries of the system. Second, it has become policy‐driven rather than law‐driven. Third, the nature of the cases chosen by the Commission is consistent with its commitment to a ‘more economics‐based approach’ to enforcement. Finally, these cases signal a move towards a more ambitious stage in the process of the integration of Member States’ economies.

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