EC antitrust policy
This chapter examines the antitrust experience of the European Community (EC). Several features of this experience make it suitable for providing some insights into the law, economics and politics of the internationalisation of antitrust policy. In particular, this experience furnishes an example of a successful system of antitrust operating beyond national boundaries, which is supported by a rich background, especially on the relationship between law and politics.1 Other important features also exist. These will be alluded to later in the discussion.
The chapter is structured as follows. The first part gives an account of some important introductory issues. The second part describes the role of the European Commission, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the national courts of Member States in EC antitrust policy. The third part examines the relationship between EC and domestic antitrust laws, followed by the fourth part, giving an account of the importance and the influence of EC antitrust law beyond the single market. The fifth part spells out the implications of the present analysis. Finally, the sixth part gives a conclusion.
EC antitrust law is thought to be a unique type of law.2 This uniqueness arises from several facts. EC antitrust law is enforced in a special context, namely the goal of market integration and therefore it has a marketintegrating aspect.3 In this context, the law belongs to a wider system,
1 See generally D. Gerber, Law and Competition in Twentieth Century Europe (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998), pp. 417-36.
3 See Articles 2 and 3 EC. These provisions will be discussed below. See p. 89 below.