Johannes Laitenberger (DG COMP): Enforcing EU competition law - Keeping the Single Market open and level

The multiple crises we are faced with are certainly among the most serious tests in the EU’s six decades of existence. Many commentators criticise the EU’s alleged inability to tackle these formidable challenges. But the picture is not as bleak as some paint it. Competition policy and enforcement are part of the large engine that chugs along and keeps driving the EU forward in cooperation with its international partners. This interview with Johannes Laitenberger, Director General of DG Competition, covers the main areas in which he and his dedicated staff – under the authority of Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and with the vital cooperation of national competition authorities in all EU countries – keep the playing field open and level for every company with operations in the Single Market. Competition policy and enforcement show that the EU can deliver and defend the interests of all European citizens.

Interview conducted by Jonas Koponen, Linklaters, Brussels.

International As competition law enforcement has proliferated and flourished over the past two decades, international cooperation among enforcement agencies has done the same. Huge strides have been made, but coordination of enforcement action, whether in M&A deal or investigation settings, still entails significant burdens for agencies and companies alike. Over the next five years, what should be at the top of agencies’ “cooperation agendas”? DG Competition strongly supports international cooperation. It is an integral part of Commissioner Vestager’s external policy agenda to promote policy convergence, effective enforcement and a level playing field for companies worldwide. Companies need a transparent, stable and reliable competition environment wherever they export or invest.

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Johannes Laitenberger, Jonas Koponen, Johannes Laitenberger (DG COMP): Enforcing EU competition law - Keeping the Single Market open and level, November 2016, Concurrences Nº 4-2016, Art. N° 81326, pp. 11-16

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