A Guide to United Kingdom and European Union Competition Policy

A Guide to United Kingdom and European Union Competition Policy

A Guide to United Kingdom and European Union Competition Policy

A Guide to United Kingdom and European Union Competition Policy

Synopsis

Dealing with competition policy from the standpoint of a business executive, this work summarises the authorities' treatment of various practices, as well as an overview of anti-trust compliance.

Excerpt

With the passing of the Competition Act 1998, compliance with competition law has ceased to be a matter for specialists. Every major company is expected to train and inform all those employees whose activities may be touched by competition law. Smaller companies that may be damaged by the anticompetitive behaviour of their larger rivals will also wish their senior executives to be made aware of the remedies that are available. Evasion of competition law has ceased to be a low-risk, penalty-free commercial strategy. Powers of entry and search have reduced the prospects of concealment. Infringements – even if contrary to explicit company instructions – now attract heavy financial penalties, and obstruction is a criminal offence.

These legislative changes will not, for the most part, alter the attitudes of the regulatory authorities toward particular business practices. Past decisions of the British authorities, although not intended to set precedents, continue to throw some light upon their future attitudes, but the precedents set by decisions of the European authorities now have an overruling impact upon domestic practice. There have been signs, however, of a more relaxed attitude toward commercial relations between manufacturers and distributors and between licensors and licensees. Recent decisions in those areas must therefore be given more weight than older precedents.

This book is intended as a practical guide to the decisions of the regulatory authorities. It is written for business executives, not for their legal or economic advisers. It is concerned with legal procedures and economic theories only to the extent that they affect the treatment of specific business practices. Its purpose is to provide the reader with a comprehensive and rapidly accessible guide to the business conduct which the authorities consider acceptable. It takes particular categories of commercial practice in turn, and examines their treatment under the law – the reverse of the direction adopted by legal texts. No previous knowledge of law or economics is required: introductory summaries provide all the background information that is needed, and every technical term is explained. the coverage of business conduct is comprehensive, in that every regulated business practice is included. It is not, however, exhaustive. It covers a range of the circumstances under which each practice has been investigated but it was not practicable to

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