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Elda Brogi and Pier Luigi Parcu

Media pluralism and media freedom are topics that are at the centre stage of the European Union (EU) agenda. The chapter presents the results of the 2016 implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM), a holistic tool that was designed to assess the risks for media pluralism, in the 28 EU member states and in two candidate countries, namely Turkey and Montenegro. It also gives an overview of the main challenges in regulating the news on the Internet and in particular of the EU debate on countering so-called ‘fake news’.

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Pier Luigi Parcu and Maria Alessandra Rossi

This chapter provides an overview of the most salient economic issues involved in the estimation of private antitrust damages in light of the approach currently adopted in Europe. Since the publication of the ‘Practical Guide’ on damage quantification by the EU Commission in 2013, many uncertainties as to the appropriate general economic framework for damages estimation have been resolved. The chapter illustrates, in a language easily understandable to non-economists, the key theoretical and methodological tenets underlying economic practice in the quantification of antitrust damages. It provides an accessible explanation of the logic underlying the main empirical methods used by economic experts and highlights some of the challenges that arise in their application.

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Pier Luigi Parcu and Maria Alessandra Rossi

In the past years, the telecommunications section has been characterized by an intensive debate on the role of State aid policy in relation to the deployment of Next Generation Networks (NGNs). The deployment of NGNs is in fact characterized by two conflicting objectives: on one hand, Member States have undertaken substantial public investment in recent years in order to promote the rollout of new and better performing infrastructures in EU Member States; on the other, such public intervention represents State aid subject to the Commission’s scrutiny. In this chapter, we discuss the interaction between public intervention in NGNs, effective State aid enforcement and private investment on the deployment of NGNs in the EU Member States. The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) 2020 has indicated very ambitious objectives for the deployment of NGNs in Europe. The ambitious digital targets indicated in the DAE have promoted State intervention via different forms of State aids. The public investment often went beyond the objective of solving market failures, and thus implied a concrete risk of distorting competition and crowding out private investments.

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Pier Luigi Parcu and Maria Luisa Stasi

This chapter analyses the role that intent plays or should play in the assessment of abusive conduct. In a phase where the European Commission and the European Courts appear to focus more and more on an effects-based approach, we consider whether due consideration should be also taken of the subjective element of the infringers’ behaviour. After analysis of the most recent European case law, with the objective to identify common trends and/or divergences, we discuss a number of procedural aspects that enforcers have to cope with while dealing with the subjective element. Finally, we briefly debate about the impact that the massive diffusion of algorithms and other automated machines can have on the role played by intent. Keywords: intent; objective abuse; CJEU; artificial intelligence

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Pier Luigi Parcu, Giorgio Monti and Marco Botta

A long time has passed since Advocate General (AG) Geelhoed stated in his Opinion in Manfredi that ‘private enforcement of (competition law) in Europe is still in its infancy’. One decade after the landmark ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the number of antitrust claims in national civil courts has steadily increased, though major differences exist among the EU Member States. In particular, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands have become the preferred fora by claimants in cross-border actions, while the majority of the other Member States have not recorded many antitrust damages cases. In term of remedies, however, claimants often request either injunctive relief or contract invalidation, rather than damages. Finally, industrial customers, rather than final consumers, start most of the legal actions, even in the countries where private enforcement of EU competition law is more developed. During the past decade, the EU Commission has actively promoted damages actions for breaches of EU competition rules. During this period of time, the pendulum of the policy discourse followed by the EU executive branch has swung between the goal of increasing the number of damages claims in national courts on the one hand, and the idea of establishing a level playing field among the EU Member States in terms of applicable procedural rules, in order to discourage forum shopping on the other. In the initial 2005 Green Paper, the EU Commission emphasized that damages actions should ‘deter’ competition law violations.

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Pier Luigi Parcu, Giorgio Monti and Marco Botta

Since the Treaty of Rome, Art. 107 TFEU has regulated how the Member States can grant aid either to private or State-owned undertakings. Aid measures incompatible with Art. 107(1) may only be authorized by the European Commission if they fulfill one of the conditions mentioned in Art. 107(2) and 107(3) TFEU. Although the wording of the Treaty has not changed significantly over the past 60 years, the goals of State aid policy have progressively shifted. Similar to other free trade agreements, the EU founding fathers included State aid rules in the Treaty of Rome in order to avoid a subsidies war among the Member States—a war that could have distorted free competition within the internal market. State aid rules were thus initially conceived as a complementary instrument to the free movement rules. In addition, State aid law was also complementary to competition policy, since the provisions concerning both policies were included in the same chapter of the Treaty, and were enforced by the same institution—that is, DG Competition of the European Commission.

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Pier Luigi Parcu, Giorgio Monti and Marco Botta