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The entry into force of the first Belgian Competition Act in 1993 raised high expectations among practitioners, businesses and consumers. These expectations have so far been disappointed. At first (long), due to a cruel lack of means at the disposal of the Competition Council created by this law. Then, as a recent and damning report by the Court of Auditors notes, because of a lack of organisation in the handling of cases and poor priority setting.
The Belgian legislator has, once again, put the book back on the trade. The law on the protection of economic competition, coordinated on 15 September 2006, creates a new institutional landscape in Belgian competition law, modifies somewhat the substantive law and more profoundly the procedural law and aligns Belgian law with European law, modernised in 2004.
The ULB’s Economic Law Unit, which had already joined forces with the Brussels Bar in 2005 to organise a module of lectures on the modernisation of European competition law, had a duty to report on this recent reform of Belgian law and to assess its merits and shortcomings.
The opportunity was also taken to take stock of developments in case law on the concept of undertaking. This concept, which is central to competition law, is particularly difficult to grasp in certain sectors, such as social insurance.
In this book you will find the written text of the speakers of the UB3 conference, held at ULB on 12 March 2007:
- Has the new Belgian competition law really arrived? by Andrée Puttemans, Professor and Director of the Economic Law Unit of the Free University of Brussels, lawyer at the Brussels Bar,
- Current procedural issues in competition law. In search of a coherent system between the competition authority and the judiciary, by Christine Schurmans, Counsellor at the Court of Appeal of Brussels and Xavier Taton, lawyer at the Brussels Bar and researcher at the Economic Law Unit of the Université libre de Bruxelles
- The notion of undertaking in European competition law: a look back at a key concept for determining the sphere of application of the competitive order, by Alexia Autenne, FNRS research fellow, professor at the ULB and guest lecturer at the UCL.
The text of the Coordinated Act of 2006 is reproduced in the annex.
UB³ is a cycle of 6 lectures per academic year, organised jointly by the Brussels Bar and the ULB Law Faculty.
Academics, magistrates and lawyers with a scientific activity share their knowledge on topical and practical legal themes.
Written material, a source of information and documentation, complements the oral presentations. These works constitute a new collection from Editions Bruylant that will be valuable to the legal practitioner.
Director of the collection and coordinator of the UB³ conferences: Me Arnaud Jansen.