Whose Regulation, Which Competition?
ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Hanns Ullrich
Comment: Cooperative networks: a new challenge to competition law or old wine in new bottles?
Andreas Fuchs* 1 INTRODUCTION In their comprehensive and profound analysis Maria Leitão Marques and Ana Abrunhosa have provided us with a detailed picture of the wide range and different forms of possible cooperation schemes in fast changing global markets. Interestingly, the carefully selected cases not only cover different types of cooperation but also different modes of moving – from walking to driving to flying. On our way to Florence many of us probably have used at least one of the products mentioned in the case studies. I took a Star Alliance flight from Osnabruck to Florence but I drove a car other than a Volkswagen Sharan or Ford Galaxy to get to the airport, and as a pedestrian here in Florence I do not wear Aerosole shoes. Since I have been in contact with only one of the products in question, and because of the tight time constraints, I am not going to comment on the case studies but shall constrain myself to some general remarks mainly on the legal implications of cooperative networks and strategic alliances. The first question coming to my mind as a lawyer is whether these modern features of cooperation really present a new challenge to competition law or whether they are just old wine in new bottles. Traditional joint ventures have also covered a wide range of different types, some being merely cooperative, others being more or purely concentrative in nature. As a starting point, I am rather sceptical as to the assumption that we...
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