Competition law in times of crisis : case studies of the European passenger airline sector and the Irish beef industry
Title: Competition law in times of crisis : case studies of the European passenger airline sector and the Irish beef industry
Author: TALBOT, Conor
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
The objective of this thesis is to examine the role and utility of competition law within the EU’s legislative and regulatory dialogue, using its response to crisis conditions as a test of its aims and abilities. As such, the main conclusion of this thesis is that competition policy acts as a forum for debate as to the direction of the European integration project, while competition law can serve as a tool for aiding in the implementation of broader policy objectives. The analysis in this thesis follows certain themes as they arose in the individual chapters, namely: (i) the role of the general economic context in the application of competition law, (ii) the existence of identifiable baselines applicable in crisis conditions, (iii) the ability and role of National Competition Authorities (NCAs) in applying competition law, and (iv) the ways in which the Commission’s overarching policy goals can influence the application of competition law. The decision to take an empirical approach to this research project stems from a conviction that an investigation into the real world situations faced by firms and consumers should underpin the evaluation of the applicable legal rules. Over the past number of years the European Commission has exerted more and more influence over the development of the regional and global airline industry, and Chapters 4 and 5 reflect the emergence of an apparent overarching aim on the part of the Commission to create a market with a handful of ultra-competitive airlines with international reach serviced by an array of smaller feeder airlines on a regional basis. The study of the Irish beef processing sector in Chapter 6 is interesting because of the high level of government involvement in providing the strategic thinking behind a crisis cartel scheme, and because the economic context appears to have exerted considerably more pressure on the government and the national court than on the competition authorities involved.
Defence date: 7 October 2016; Examining Board: Professor Giorgio Monti, EUI (Supervisor); Professor Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz, EUI; Dott. Alberto Heimler, Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione; Dr Christopher Townley, King's College London
Type of Access: embargoedAccess