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Since its creation in 2004, the journal Concurrences has been organizing a colloquium. The topics covered have naturally been varied: from the adaptation of the French system to Regulation 1/2003 to the place of competition in the Treaty of Lisbon, through banking and finance issues and the reform of State aid. The subject chosen for today’s conference is at first sight more limited and more technical: "Remedies and commitments in the new merger control" ... It is nonetheless topical, even if the title may be somewhat perplexing. Admittedly, we know that there is a difference between remedies and commitments, the second category being only a variant of the first, but it is the expression "new merger control" that is immediately appealing. The expression probably applies to French law as a result of the reform brought about by the Law on modernisation of the economy and the transfer of merger control from the Minister for Economic Affairs to the new Competition Authority. Of course, we do not yet have any experience of the functioning of the new Authority and the discussions that will follow can only be forward-looking. Having said that, there is no doubt that this new Competition Authority will benefit from all the experience acquired in this field by the current authorities, represented respectively by President Lasserre and Mr Amand. While the DGCCRF has, of course, until now been at the forefront in the area of commitments, the Competition Council has gradually taken an interest in this subject. From memory, it was in the beer cases in 2004 that the question was debated as to whether the Competition Council could issue an opinion on the proposed commitments. It is in any event from 2005 onwards that it expresses itself on this point when it appears necessary, and everyone remembers the Council’s opinion in the Canal + /TPS operation. Can we still talk about new merger control under Community law? Regulation No 139/2004, which currently governs us, entered into force on 1 May 2004, but it is true that the subject of commitments - if we respect Community terminology, we should say remedies’ - is a topical one, since the Commission published a new communication on this subject on 22 October 2008, which also required the implementing regulation to be adapted. This is a topical subject, and is also of considerable practical importance for businesses and their advisers. It is therefore no coincidence that we are being received today by a law firm and that there are many practitioners in the audience. That said, as an academic I feel perfectly at ease, not only because the topic of remedies and commitments is at the heart of current issues in competition law and policy (I.), but above all because the way in which it has been approached is representative of new ways of working that have gradually imposed themselves on us (II.) . (Excerpt from the introduction by L. Idot)
Due to the importance of the interventions, the proceedings are accessible in the attached pdf version.
- See also, the synthesis report of the results of the "Merger Remedies Matrix" research programme which served as a starting point for this conference.
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