ECJ's Ruling in Beef Industry Case: Competition Law Must Be Observed at All Times
European Law Reporter, No. 12, pp. 402-406, 2008
5 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2009
Date Written: December 2008
The importance of the ECJ's Beef Industry judgment is at least two-fold: (1) in relation to application of the Article 81 EC the Court clarified that the concept of "agreements by object" is not limited to the hard-core restrictions listed in the Article 81(1) EC, and confirmed the step-by-step method for assessing the compatibility of an agreement with the specified legal rules; (2) the judgment also sent a more general message to undertakings, who following the decentralization of competition law enforcement brought about by Regulation 1/2003 appeared in a position where they have to make their own assessment of the compatibility of their agreements and common policies with the competition rules. In particular, the judgment gives a clear warning to distressed industries that hard economic times do not justify anti-competitive agreements and practices.
Keywords: beef industry, Article 81 EC, ECJ judgment
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