LEGAL PRACTICE : INTERIM MEASURES - COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT - NATIONAL COMPETITION AUTHORITIES - EUROPEAN COMMISSION - ABUSES OF DOMINANT POSITION - COMMITMENT PROCEDURES - CONDITIONS - PROCEDURAL RULES

Interim measures : Convergence and trends in European national case laws

Interim measures are a keystone of competition enforcement. Yet this tool has only recently gained momentum in Europe and competition authorities rarely order interim measures. Times are changing, however, and national competition authorities (NCAs) are becoming more proactive in this area. This article analyses the law and practice of interim measures taken both by the Commission and NCAs in Europe. It shows that the use of interim measures by NCAs, though still relatively timid, is developing. Beyond this, interim measures are also found to be used for similar types of infringements, i.e., mostly abuses of a dominant position, in common sectors and, very often, in conjunction with the applicable commitment procedures. The article also shows how EU law has exercised a crucial influence on the substantive conditions and procedural rules of interim measures ordered by national competition authorities. Today, the law and practice of interim measures in Europe show major points of convergence while some divergences, mainly procedural, remain.

This article provides highlights of 72 national Courts decisions published ; it has been published as a special issue of e-Competitions of the 17th March 2011. 1. The literature on the modernisation of EU competition law has paid little attention to interim measures ordered by the European Commission and national competition authorities (NCAs). Yet their asymmetric development under the modernised system has proven to be a fascinating area for the analysis of the decentralisation of powers under Regulation No 1/2003. [1] 2. Interim measures are a keystone of competition enforcement : they allow competition authorities to intervene rapidly in order to prevent anticompetitive practices from irreparably harming the evolution of the markets, and can therefore reconcile the inherent

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Eric Barbier de la Serre, Marguerite Lavedan, Interim measures : Convergence and trends in European national case laws, mai 2011, Concurrences N° 2-2011, Art. N° 35351, pp. 228-239

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