U.S. And EU Antitrust Enforcement: What Role In A More Heavily Regulated Financial Sector?

Todd Fishman, Olivier Fréget, David Gabathuler, Jul 28, 2011

It can be questioned, whether the introduction of a more robust financial regulatory scheme and the apparent resurgence of concerns about competition potentially weakening financial stability and even possibly impeding effective regulation will not have damaging consequences for competition law enforcement in the financial sector, and the banking industry in particular.

This paper takes a comparative approach and discusses whether the enforcement of the competition rules in the United States and in the EU could be constrained-on conflict grounds-by broadly based rules and regulations addressing perceived market failures in the financial sector. It then concludes by discussing whether the apparent differences between the two systems may lead to divergent enforcement outcomes, in particular in terms of the level of scrutiny by the respective U.S. and EU antitrust authorities, and also highlights the risk of conflicts between financial regulation and antitrust.