INTERNATIONAL : GRAND-DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG - THE 2011 REFORM - DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETITION CULTURE

State of competition law in Luxembourg further to the 2011 reform

The development of a competition culture is recent in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg as its dates back nearly to Regulation (EC) 1/2003. It was in a first phase held back as a result of conflicts between the two entities established to implement competition law : the Competition Inspectorate and the Competition Council, the lack of resources at their disposal, as well as the procrastination and the opposition of the Council of State to any improvement of the institutional framework. The obstinacy of the first president of the Competition Council, Thierry Hoscheit (2004-2011), followed by the entry into force of the Law of 23 October 2011 on the competition, which led to the absorption of the Inspectorate by the Council, to the strengthening of the means and powers of the latter and to the formation of a team of four competent and complementary counsellors, including the President Pierre Rauchs, a former senior official of the Ministry of Economy, resulted in that the application of competition law is in the process of finding its stride in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. In this regard, the growing internationalization of trade, particularly tangible in one of the world’s most open small economies, is likely to accelerate the inclusion of competition culture.

I. Introduction 1. With a little more than half a million inhabitants and a narrow territory whose size is comparable to a French “Département,” [1] the Grand-duchy of Luxembourg faces unique concerns when it comes to the application of Competition Law. 2. Indeed, in such a tiny country where “everybody knows everyone else” and where an exceptionally high number of undertakings are in a dominant position [2], the application of these rules is a particularly sensitive issue [3]. 3. By way of illustration, in the first decision rendered by the Competition Council (the “Council”) (in 2010) in which fines were imposed on undertakings for bid rigging practices, the undertakings concerned defended their behaviour by stating that their objective was to resist foreign competitors [4]. The use of

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Auteurs

  • Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London)

Citation

Philippe-Emmanuel Partsch, Elie Raimond, State of competition law in Luxembourg further to the 2011 reform, décembre 2013, Concurrences N° 4-2013, Art. N° 57660, www.concurrences.com

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