The School of Economics and Management of Lund University and the Law Department of the Copenhagen Business School hold in February a conference entitled Competition Law in a Global Perspective - Challenges and Trends. See here for more details.
The financial crisis still dominates the news and supposedly will for a while. In this context, Lexxion Publishers organise a workshop to discuss and work out the implications of the financial crisis on European State aids and the legal framework. It is scheduled for 20 February 2009 at the King's College London (KCL). Further details will soon be posted at www.lexxion.eu/conferences.
As usual in the area of abuse of dominance, a number of observers have (again) lamented that in Sot. Lelos kai Sia EE et al. v. GlaxoSmithKline AEVE (GSK), Article 82 EC has been brought a step further, and that the Commission, NCAs and national courts are now be able to sanction new forms of abuses.
In my opinion, there is nothing revolutionary in this case. The Court recalls that Article 82 EC applies to output limitation strategies of monopolies (something which BTW was present in some Commission decisions, such as the P&I decision). In line with basic economic theory, the judgment thus embodies the idea that a monopoly shall not refuse to satisfy orders of customers, provided the latter are ready to compensate for its costs (the allocative inefficiency of the monopoly, see triangle above).
This interpretation, which suggests that the Court's judgment is based on elementary principles of economics, tempers the hackneyed criticism of the judgment as a new iteration of the market integration "dogma". It also suggests that the ruling is not sector-specific, but applies to sectors other than pharmaceuticals.
Of course, there are areas of concerns (e.g. remedies). But I don't share the clichéd view that the ECJ ruling is - and a fortiori that all Article 82 EC rulings are - nonsensical.
The slides of Jose Luis Buendia Sierra's excellent presentation are now available on the GCLC website.
The French press reports that two top-management executives from St Gobain - which was fined last month a hefty 896.000.000 € for cartel infringement - have just been fired.
The collateral damages of administrative fines are increasingly high... With directors' disqualification as a follow-on corporate punishment, the deterrent effect of the Commission's fining policy is on the rise.
The Canadian Competition Bureau has designed a "trivia game", which seeks to help the business community understand its obligations under the antitrust law. See here (you must click on the second hyperlink).
I found this on the ICN website, which btw is really worth visiting (it contains a myriad of useful information).
On 15 December, TILEC hosts a half-day workshop on Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition Policy. In this workshop the winners of the TILEC 2007 IIPC grant competition will present the first results of their research. I attach the invitation.
Short notice: the next lunch talk of the GCLC will take place on 18 December. Topic: the ECJ ruling in GSK. Speakers are Ian FORRESTER, from White & Case LLP and José Luis BUENDIA SIERRA, from Garrigues.