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Legal, institutional and policy implications of the introduction of a new competition tool


As the European Commission is preparing its proposal for a ’New Competition Tool’, we look at the legal, Institutional and policy Implications of such a tool. We examine questions of legal basis, substantive standard of Intervention, procedural design and judicial review and the role of EU Courts. The existing UK system of market Investigations provides for a good model for the design of the new tool, and, at the same time, EU law provides for a framework within which the EU legislator can move.

I. Introduction 1. On 2 June 2020, the European Commission launched a public consultation seeking views on a “new complementary tool to strengthen competition enforcement,” a “new competition tool” (“NCT”). In reality, the Commission is proposing to adopt a new enforcement tool, a system of market investigations à l’anglaise, [1] where it will intervene not because of the existence of an infringement of the competition rules (Articles 101, 102 and 106 TFEU) but rather because of the mere existence of “competition concerns” that may (under the proposals that are in the public domain as of end of November 2020) be related to conduct or market structure problems. The Commission would have formidable powers: there would be no fines (since there is no infringement) but the remedies could go as far

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  • White & Case (Brussels)
  • General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)


Assimakis Komninos, Georgios Gryllos, Legal, institutional and policy implications of the introduction of a new competition tool, 3 December 2020, Concurrences N° 1-2021, Art. N° 98145,

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