The Role of Competition Law in Regulatory European Private Law

  • Armin Lambertz

Abstract

In the last years we have seen the emergence of a new methodology in European private law, which (finally) dared to shift away from a classical comparative approach to one, which takes European Union law as its proper starting point. Classical European private law scholarship has mainly been backwards looking insofar as the law of the Member States, and predominantly the old codifications, determined both form and substance of new regulatory attempts. Today, this traditional approach still remains the predominant working method of the acquis group. But recent improvements in the academic debate surrounding European private law suggest a more European approach to questions of harmonisation. Taking the Treaties, secondary legislation and jurisprudence of the ECJ as its premise, academics have attempted to extrapolate common ‘European’ principles and rules to provide desperately needed substance in the search for more coherence in the continuing harmonisation process of private law. Some characteristics should be stressed as far as this new scholarship is concerned. First, it is heavily influenced by an idea which can be called ‘Europeanisation of law through hybridisation of remedies’. Second, the methodology and reasoning on which this scholarship relies can only be explained on the basis of the European Economic Constitution. Alongside these main aspects we also find a more functionalistic approach as to how modern private law should be shaped in general. Last, new forms of governance allow for more flexibility in the law-making process, also in view of the actors involved in that process. It is against this background that this contribution seeks to demonstrate in what way competition law can serve as a tool to directly or indirectly influence and regulate private law in the Member States; and, more generally, how it can further the Europeanisation of law. In terms of methodology, I mainly rely on the idea that developments in European private law can be explained by aid of those areas which lie at the periphery of classical private law but at the core of the law of the internal market. To this end, it is necessary to first and foremost understand when and how competition and private law interact in the Union. The aim is to identify both instances in which competition and private law overlap substantially and in what way they complement each other.

References

Albertina Albert-Llorens; ‘Consumer Law, Competition Law and the Europeanization of Private Law’, in: G. de Burca et al., (Eds.); The Institutional Framework of Private Law. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Giuliano Amato; Antitrust and the Bounds of Power. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1997.

Fabrizio Cafaggi, ‘Self-Regulation in European Contract Law’. European Journal of Legal Studies 1, 2007.

Caroline Cauffman, ‘The impact of voidness for infringement of Article 101 TFEU on linked contracts’. Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2013/3.

Fabrizio Cafaggi & Horatia Muir Watt; The Regulatory Function of European Private Law. Cheltenham [etc.]: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009.

Hugh Collins; ‘The Hybrid Quality of European Private Law’, in: Brownsword et al., (Eds.); The Foundations of European Private Law. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2011.

Julio Baquero Cruz; Between Competition and Free Movement. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2002.

John Clark & Stephan Simon, ‘The New Legal Framework for Motor Vehicle Distribution: A Toolkit to Deal with Real Competition Breakdowns’. Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 1 (6), 2010.

Katalin Judit Cseres, Competition Law and Consumer Protection. The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2005.

K. Cseres, ‘Competition and Contract Law’, in: A. Hartkamp et al., (Eds.); Towards a European Civil Code. 4th edition, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2010.

Katalin Judit Cseres, ‘Comparing Laws in the Enforcement of EU and National Competition Laws’. European Journal of Legal Studies 3 (1), 2010.

Maurits Dolmans, ‘Standards for Standards’. Fordham International Law Journal 26 (1), 2002.

Frédérique Dreifuss-Netter, ‘Droit de la Concurrence et Droit Commun des Obligations’. Dalloz 3, 1990.

Claus D. Ehlermann, ‘The Modernization of EC Antitrust Policy: A Legal and Cultural Revolution’. European Competition Law Review 17 (2), 2000.

Lewis T. Evans & Neil C. Quigley, ‘Contracting, Incentives for Breach, and the Impact of Competition Law’. World Competition 23 (2), 2000.

Borja Garcia & Stephen Weatherill, ‘Engaging with the EU in order to minimize its impact: sport and the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon’. Journal of European Public Policy 3 (3), 2011.

Stefan Grundmann; Europäisches Schuldvertragsrecht – Das europäische Recht der Unternehmensgeschäfte. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1999.

Alison Jones & Brenda Sufrin; EU Competiton Law – Text, Cases, and Materials, 4th edition, Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Christian Joerges, ‘Relational Contract Theory in a Comparative Perspective: Tensions Between Contract and Antitrust Law Principles in the Assessement of Contract Relations Between Automobile Manufacturers and Their Dealers in Germany’. Wisconsin Law Review, 1985.

Christian Joerges, ‘Transnationale “deliberative Demokratie” oder “deliberativer Supranationalismus”? Anm. Zur Konzeptualisierung legitimen Regierens jenseits des Nationalstaats bei Rainer Schmalz-Bruns’. Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen 7, 2000.

R. Daniel Kelemen; Eurolegalism – The Transformation of Law and Regulation in the European Union. Cambride [etc.]: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Vanessa Mak, ‘A Shift in Focus: Systematisation in European Private Law Through EU Law’. Tilburg Institute of Comparative and Transnational Law Working Paper No. 2009/12.

Imelda Maher; ‘Regulating Competition’, in: C. Parker et al., (Eds.), Regulating Law. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker, ‘A Legal Theory without Law: Posner v. Hayek on Economic Analysis in Law’. Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law Working Paper, 2008.

Hans-W. Micklitz, ‘The Visible Hand of European Regulatory Private Law: The Transformation of European Private Law from Autonomy to Functionalism in Competition and Regulation’. European University Institute Working Paper Law No. 2008/14.

Laura Parret; Side effects of the modernisation of EU competition law – Modernisation as a challenge to the enforcement system of EU competition law and EU law in general. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2011.

Norbert Reich, ‘The “Courage” Doctrine: encouraging or discouraging compensation for antitrust Injuries?’. Common Market Law Review 42 (35), 2005.

Norbert Reich, ‘Horizontal Liability in EC Law: Hybridisation of Remedies for Compensation in Case of Breaches of EC Rights’. Common Market Law Review 44, 2007.

Alan Riley, ‘EC Antitrust Modernisation: The Commission Does Very Nicely – Thank You! Between the Idea and the Reality: Decentralisation under Regulation 1’. European Competition Law Review 24, 2003.

Jacobien W. Rutgers, ‘Free Movements and Contract Law’. European Review of Contract Law 4 (3), 2008.

Michael Schillig, ‘Inequality of bargaining power versus market for lemons: legal paradigm change and the Court of Justice’s jurisprudence on Directive 93/13 on unfair contract terms’. European Law Review 33, 2008.

Francesco A. Schurr, ‘What Role Does Competition Law Play in the Genesis of a Harmonised European Private Law’. Revue Juridique Polynésienne 14, 2008.

Linda Senden, ‘Soft Law, Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation in European Law: Where Do They Meet?’. Electronic Journal of Comparative Law 9 (1), 2005.

Jules Stuyck, ‘Case: ECJ – Courage v Crehan’, European Review of Contract Law 1 (2). 2005.

Eddy de Smijter & Lars Kjoelbye; ‘The Enforcement System under Regulation 1/2003’, in: Jonathan Faull & Ali Nikpay, (Eds.); The EC Law of Competition. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Francis Snyder; The Europeanisation of Law: The Legal Effects of European Integration. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2000.

Mark Steiner; Economics in Antitrust Policy: Freedom to Compete vs. Freedom to Contract. Dissertation.com, 2007.

Takis Tridimas; The General Principles of EU Law. 2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford EC Law Library, 2006.

Hanns Ullrich, ‘Anti-Unfair Competition Law and Anti-Trust Law: A Continental Conundrum?’. European University Institute Working Paper Law No. 2005/01.

An Vermeersch, ‘All’s fair in Sport and Competition? The Application of EC Competition Rules to Sport’. Journal of European Public Policy 3 (3), 2011.

Floris O. W. Vogelaar, ‘Modernisation of EC competition law – Economy and horizontal cooperation between undertakings’. Intereconomics 37 (1), 2002.

Rein Wesseling; The Modernisation of EC Antitrust Law. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2000.

Angela Wigger, ‘Revisiting the European Competition Reform: The Toll of Private Self- Enforcement’, University of Amsterdam Working Papers Political Science No. 2004/07.

Angela Wigger; ‘Towards a Market-Based Approach: The Privatization and Micro- Economization of EU Antitrust Enforcement’, in: Henk Overbeck et al., (Eds.); The Transnational Politics of Corporate Governance Regulation. Oxford [etc.]: Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2007.

Stephen Wilks, ‘Agency Escape: Decentralization or Dominance of the European Commission in the Modernization of Competition Policy?’, Governance 18 (3), 2005.

Frank Wijckmans & Filip Tuytschaever; Vertical Agreements in EU Competition Law. 2nd edition, Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Stephen Wilks; ‘Competition Policy: Challenge and Reform’, in: Helen Wallace et al., (Eds.); Policy-Making in the European Union. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jan Wouters; ‘Private law, global governance and the European Union’, in: Anne L. M. Keirse & Marco B. M. Loos, (Eds.); Alternative Ways to Ius Commune – The Europeanisation of Private Law. Antwerp: Intersentia, 2012.

Walter van Gerven, ‘Of Rights, Remedies and Procedures’. Common Market Law Review 37, 2000.

Walter van Gerven; ‘Substantive Remedies for the Private Enforcement of EC Antitrust Rules Before National Courts’, in: C.D. Ehlermann & I. Atanasiu, (Eds.); European Competition Law Annual 2001: Effective Private Enforcement of EC Antitrust Law. The Hague: Hart Publishing, 2003.

Walter van Gerven, ‘Bringing (Private) Laws Closer to Each Other at the European Level’, in: Fabrizio Cafaggi, (Eds.); The Institutional Framework of European Private Law - Volume XV/2, Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Published
2013-07-01