CONFERENCE PAPERS

Conference: Small economies and competition policy - A fair deal?

The question of how size affects optimal competition law generates increasing interest. Accordingly, this special issue of the Revue Concurrences includes some of the papers presented at the conference on competition law in small economies. In this essay, Prof. Gal argues that, the size of an economy affects its optimal competition law. The essay defines a small economy, introduces its special economic characteristics and suggests two types of effects of small size on optimal competition law. Mr. Webb is of the opinion that merger policy is an important tool for competition law in small economies, so long as it is used correctly. The example of Jersey is used to exemplify the arguments. Prof. Steenbergen argues that there are no strong justifications for adopting merger regulation in very small economies, especially if they are surrounded by large economies which have adopted merger control. Finaly, Gabriel Bleser recalls that Luxembourg was subject to little and rather inefficient regulation for nearly five decades. The situation changed significantly on 30 May 2004 when a completely new competition law came into force. This explains that cartel enforcement is not yet developed in Luxembourg, but some cartel cases concerned the Luxembourg market. Lessons may be drawn from these cases how small authorities can effectively fight against cartels. Firstly, it can be noted that the press plays an important role. Secondly, small and young authorities should focus on enforcement rather than be granted powers to conduct sector inquiries and advisory powers.

Introduction Michal S. GAL Professor, Haifa University School of Law Global Hauser Visiting Professor NYU School of Law 1. I am delighted that the Revue Concurrences has taken the initiative to publish some of the papers presented at the conference “Small Economies and Competition Policy - A Fair Deal?” The conference, which was organized the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in collaboration with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Luxembourg Competition Council and Competition Inspectorate, took place on October 18 and 19, 2007 in Luxembourg. It generated much interest and drew participants from many countries. The panels raised important question with regard to how small size affects optimal competition law which spawned dynamic discussions among the

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Gabriel Bleser, Jacques Steenbergen, Michal S. Gal, Charles Webb, Conference: Small economies and competition policy - A fair deal?, September 2008, Concurrences Review N° 3-2008, Art. N° 19945, www.concurrences.com

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