Antitrust: EU Commission consults stakeholders on a possible new competition tool
The European Commission has published today an inception impact assessment as well as an open public consultation inviting comments on exploring the need for a possible new competition tool that would allow addressing structural competition problems in a timely and effective manner.
Stakeholders can submit their views on the inception impact assessment until 30 June 2020 and respond to the open public consultation until 8 September 2020. Over the past years, the Commission has reflected on the role of competition policy and how it fits in a world that is changing fast, is increasingly digital and globalised, and must become greener.
This reflection process is part of a broader policy debate about the need for changes to the current competition law framework so that enforcement agencies around the globe can continue to preserve the competitiveness of markets.
The new competition tool should enable the Commission to address gaps in the current competition rules and to intervene against structural competition problems across markets in a timely and effective manner.
After establishing a structural competition problem through a rigorous market investigation during which rights of defence are fully respected, the new tool should allow the Commission to impose behavioural and where appropriate, structural remedies. However, there would be no finding of an infringement, nor would any fines be imposed on the market participants. Subject to the outcome of the impact assessment, a legislative proposal is scheduled for Q4/2020.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The world is changing fast and it is important that the competition rules are fit for that change. Our rules have an inbuilt flexibility which allows us to deal with a broad range of anti-competitive conduct across markets.
We see, however, that there are certain structural risks for competition, such as tipping markets, which are not addressed by the current rules. We are seeking the views of stakeholders to explore the need for a possible new competition tool that would allow addressing such structural competition problems, in a timely and effective manner ensuring fair and competitive markets across the economy.”
Arianna Podesta –