Download publication

Policy Contribution

Can EU competition law address market distortions caused by state-controlled enterprises?

The distortive effects that foreign state-owned or state-supported companies can have on European markets and on the European Union’s economic autonomy are starting to worry policymakers

By: Date: December 18, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This Policy Contribution considers whether European competition law could be applied more directly to state owned enterprises that create an unlevel playing field in Europe due to the support they receive from their home governments. This issue is now a priority for many Member States and the European Commission given the impact on European economic autonomy. Competition law may not be the appropriate tool for addressing the granting of illegal subsidies or other forms of support in third countries but it may be more effective than previously thought in dealing with the effect of state-owned entities that distort the internal market. If SOEs are not be resource-constrained or even profit maximising, such SOEs could be unconstrained by competitive pressures and therefore possess a de facto level of market power. By evolving existing exclusionary antitrust theories of harm, such as predatory pricing, to fit the specificities of SOEs, this Policy Contribution argues that it should be possible to add further tools to the EU’s toolbox. In any event, as part of its efforts to address the distortive effects of foreign state ownership and subsidies in the internal market, the Commission should develop a coherent and proactive competition policy to provide guidance to the market.

Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

Mar
3
12:30

The Sound of Economics Live - The Brussels effect: How the European Union rules the world

This will be a live recording of an episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel's podcast series. The discussion will center around the book of Anu Bradford, The Brussels Effect.

Speakers: Anu Bradford, Ashoka Mody, Giuseppe Porcaro and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article More by this author

Opinion

Europe may be the world’s AI referee, but referees don’t win

The EU needs to invest in homegrown technology.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: February 19, 2020
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Do AI markets create competition policy concerns?

AI markets are young and their structure is yet to crystallise. Is European competition law ready for what happens next?

By: Julia Anderson Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: January 23, 2020
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

The Sound of Margrethe Vestager

Will AI exacerbate the gap between big companies and small ones? Do ordinary Europeans gain anything from having European tech giants? This week, Nicholas Barrett and Guntram Wolff went to the Berlaymont to interview Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 19, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The Great Reversal-Causes and implications of the rising corporate concentration in the US

During this event, Thomas Philippon presented his thesis on market concentration and explained the reasons behind the rising corporate market power in the US.

Speakers: Thomas Philippon, Georgios Petropoulos and Reinhilde Veugelers Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Competition policy in the era of AI – the case of Japan and Europe

How can artificial intelligence have a positive impact on the economy? How does AI impact competition policy? How can the EU and Japan become leaders in AI?

Speakers: Eric Badiqué, Grazia Cecere, Taiji Hagiwara, Yuko Kawai, J. Scott Marcus, Noritsugu Nakanishi, Tatsuji Narita, Agata Wierzbowska and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 24, 2019
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

Questions to the Competition Commissioner-designate

Commissioner Vestager has been given two portfolios; Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age and Competition Commissioner. While having more than one portfolio may not be new, combining an important policy coordination function and an enforcement function is a novel approach. This raises a number of important questions related to how the objectives of either portfolio can be delivered cleanly.

By: Mathew Heim Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: September 27, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

Banking, FinTech, Big Tech: Emerging challenges for financial policymakers

FinTech and Big Tech firms are both increasingly stepping on banks’ traditional turf. This column introduces the 22nd Geneva Report on the World Economy, which looks at the challenges generated by new technology-enabled entrants to the global banking industry and the public authorities that oversee it. It argues that to respond adequately to the FinTech/Big Tech challenge, authorities will need to raise their game and enter uncharted territories.

By: Kathryn Petralia, Thomas Philippon, Tara Rice and Nicolas Véron Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 26, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Addressing the EU’s Global Challenges Locally: the EU’s Competition and Antitrust Tightrope

This blog is part of a series following the 2019 Bruegel annual meetings, which brought together nearly 1,000 participants for two days of policy debate and discussion.

By: Rebecca Christie and Mathew Heim Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: September 23, 2019
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

China-EU investment relations: Exploring competition and industrial policies

This is a closed-door workshop jointly organised by MERICS and Bruegel looking at China-EU investment relations.

Speakers: Miguel Ceballos Barón, Alicia García-Herrero, Mikko Huotari, Yi Huang and Xu Sitao Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: September 9, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Backstage at BAM19: Designing a competition policy fit for Europe's needs.

Backstage at the Bruegel Annual Meetings, Rebecca Christie talks with Mathew Heim on competition policy.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: September 5, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

European champion-ships: industrial champions and competition policy

This blog post investigates the debate on whether European competition rules should foster European industrial champions, or allow national champions to grow to a European scale. It explores the criteria that one would intuitively ascribe to industrial champions, illustrating the difficulties in defining either ‘European’ or ‘Champion’. It then conducts a brief look into whether EU Merger decisions have impeded the formation of ‘European Champions’.

By: Mathew Heim and Catarina Midões Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 26, 2019
Load more posts