A Review of the Competition Law Implications of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Norman Neyrinck, Nicolas Petit, Feb 17, 2010

Most competition lawyers tend to view the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), which followed the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, as business as usual. While the cosmetics of European Union (“EU”) competition law have undeniably changed with the renumbering of the competition provisions in the TFEU, its fundamentals are generally perceived as stable. This interpretation is, in turn, based on the belief that the Lisbon Treaty primarily sought to address a variety of profound, structural defects of the EU institutional framework, and was thus only remotely concerned with the practice of competition law.

This article investigates whether this assumption is correct. To this end, it is divided into two parts. Part I reviews the competition law provisions of the TFEU and seeks to compare them to the provisions of the now defunct Treaty establishing the European Community (“the EC Treaty”). Part II seeks to determine whether the amendment of a number of transversal, non competition-specific provisions is likely to impact the practice of competition law.

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