Johan W. van de Gronden and Catalin S. Rusu are discussing in this book competition law in the EU. They analyse all its substantive and enforcement aspects, also taking into consideration, where appropriate and relevant, the experience of the US and the European national regimes, in addition to the recent developments and challenges of the Corona crisis and digital markets.
This book is comprised of 13 chapters, regrouped into six parts. The first part discusses the prerequisites of competition law. The second and third parts deal with the substantive and enforcement rules of antitrust law. The fourth part discusses concentration control. The fifth part deals with competition rules addressed to Member States. Finally, the sixth part is the conclusion.
In the first part, the authors discuss the prerequisites of competition law. They explain the scope of the book and its approach, as well as the main concepts of EU competition law, such as the concept of competition itself, the role and interaction between competition law and economics, the basic substantive and enforcement concepts (e.g., undertaking, market definition, effect between Member States and extraterritoriality) and the basic institutional setup.
The second part deals with antitrust law. In this part, the authors discuss the substantive rules of anticompetitive practices. They begin by laying out the scope of the EU competition law, and especially its relationship, on the substantive level, with the national competition regimes. They then discuss, on the one hand, horizontal and vertical anticompetitive agreements and, on the other hand, abuse of dominant position. For both of these sets of practices, the authors analyse the different substantive rules of their assessment, including some aspects pertaining to the digital economy and the Corona crisis, in addition to some national examples.
In the third part, the authors discuss the enforcement rules of antitrust law. They also begin by laying out some preliminary considerations, notably the interaction between the different enforcement rules and their objective, as well as the interaction of the EU competition rules with the national regimes on the procedural level. The authors then discuss the public enforcement of EU competition rules, which comprises the investigation and decision-making powers of the Commission, in addition to the enforcement at the national level. Then, they discuss the private enforcement of EU competition rules, specifically its historical background and the private damage directive of 2014.
In the fourth part, the authors discuss both the substantive and procedural aspects of EU concentration control. They explain first its objectives and rationale. They then explain in great detail all the relevant aspects of the control system, including some recent discussions, such as minority shareholdings and the assessment of mergers in the digital markets. In addition, they discuss some important aspects pertaining to cooperation in merger enforcement, on both the European and international levels, the Brexit issue, as well as some specific national examples on merger enforcement.
In the fifth part on competition rules addressed to the Member States, the authors explain the EU competition rules that address the issue of anticompetitive state measures, while taking into consideration the recent developments regarding the Corona crisis. The authors discuss three categories of these measures, namely, those that generally undermine the useful effects of the EU competition rules, those that concern undertakings having exclusive or special rights within the meaning of Article 106 and those considered as State aids within the meaning of Article 107.
Finally, the sixth part is the conclusion. In this part, the authors summarise the discussions and analyses conducted throughout their book on the different updates and developments in EU competition law and how it was able to evolve to accommodate such developments and challenges.
The present book is highly useful for practitioners and students seeking to acquire new comprehensive material on EU competition law. This is because the authors successfully conducted an extensive study on all the aspects of EU competition law, while also tackling the US experience and some notable experience of the European national regimes. More importantly, the authors successfully integrated into their discussion and analysis the recent developments pertaining to the coronavirus and the digital markets. In other words, this book offers the readers the amalgamations of the most important key aspects of the recent discussions and developments of all the aspects of EU competition law in one place.