Credit Rating Agencies, the Sovereign Debt Crisis and Competition Law
42 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2011 Last revised: 2 Sep 2011
Date Written: August 17, 2011
This paper explores the possibility of remedial intervention against the credit rating oligopoly under the competition rules. It is divided in six parts. Following an introduction, Part II provides an overview of the credit rating industry. Part III demonstrates that there is a possible economic case for antitrust intervention against the credit rating agencies ("CRAs"). Part IV examines the doctrines of competition law that could be applied against CRAs. Part V reviews possible remedies. Part VI provides a conclusion. The analysis is conducted on the basis of European Union competition law. Subject to national legal idiosyncrasies, it applies mutatis mutandis to other competition law regimes.
Keywords: Credit rating agencies, antitrust, competition law, financial markets, sovereign debt, oligopoly, dominance, conflict of interest, issuer pays
JEL Classification: K21, L4, G1, G2, G3
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