Competition Law and Economics
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Competition Law and Economics

Advances in Competition Policy Enforcement in the EU and North America

Edited by Abel M. Mateus and Teresa Moreira

Competition policy is at a crossroads on both sides of the Atlantic. In this insightful book, judges, enforcers and academics in law and economics look at the consensus built so far and clarify controversies surrounding the issue.
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Chapter 6: Administrative Regulation versus Private Enforcement – the EU Perspective

John D. Cooke


John D. Cooke* This section of the conference is an attempt to answer a series of questions on the interplay between the different methods of judicial control of the enforcement of competition rules – judicial review of administrative enforcement by competition authorities as opposed to judging and enforcing the rules by means of private civil litigation before national courts. What are the prospects for private enforcement in the EU? Can public and private enforcement be combined? I also see that I am expected to give you the EU perspective on the costs and benefits of one approach as against the other. I am not sure that there is an EU perspective as such, on the many issues which this topic raises or that I am the one to articulate it even if I knew what it was. What follows therefore is my own purely personal reflection on a few aspects of the problem based on my experience of over 35 years. In that regard, perhaps I can at least say by way of introduction that my experience covers both methods of enforcement. When I was practising at the Bar prior to going to Luxembourg 12 years ago, I was involved in some of the cases in which EC and national competition rules were sought to be enforced by private litigation. Those cases were, of course, mostly in the common law jurisdictions and particularly in Ireland. In some instances they reached Community level as, for example, in the Article 82 TV listings...

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