In this issue:
Ex Post Assessment of Regulation 1/2003
Five years on, the Commission is carrying out the scheduled review of the success of Regulation 1. To that end it has solicited comments from its “customers.” There are signs that it may have already prejudged the outcome of the consultation in remarks that express satisfaction at how the Regulation has worked—stating that antitrust enforcement was both “strengthened and simplified.” It seems timely to question whether that satisfaction is in fact merited.
More than 25 years ago, Christopher Norall and I wrote an article challenging the Commission’s approach to the application of Articles 81(1) and (3) EC, calling for the priests of competition law in Brussels to trust the laity more, to share enforcement duties with others, and to be less formalistic in interpreting the rules. It was one of a string of articles which suggested that the Commission could not maintain its monopoly over the grant of exemptions.
Currently, the European Commission is about to assess the five years’ implementation of this Regulation. To this end, it launched a public consultation on July 24, 2008. It is expected that the answers to this consulta...