On Tuesday 9th October 2012 we welcomed Joaquin Almunia, Vice-President and Commissioner on Competition, to talk about Enhancing international competition and cooperation to fight protectionism. During his presentation Commissioner Almunia focused on various issues such as competition policies, state aid, mergers, antitrust and cartels.
The Commissioner argued that a new process of state aid linked with growth policies will help. Commissioner Almunia’s goal is to find until the end of next year a new framework for different use of public money in internal market. Restoring the banking structure would be problematic and he proposed a revised framework into public services so as to analyse further the distribution of public money.
During his presentation, Commissioner Almunia analysed a few points and on cases on mergers. Last year, he argued, more than 300 mergers were analysed in depth and showed problems. The strict policy in this field proposed by the European Commission indicates its importance.
Regarding Antitrust, the fight against cartels was emphasised by the Commissioner. The benefits of the cooperation of cartels, facilitates the investigation of trade companies. Antitrust investigation abuses the market production of some companies, the Commissioner argued.
Furthermore, patents are a focus area of the Commission and there is a need to introduce more competition in this area, since the difference between the rights of holders of patents and intellectual property rights aren’t yet clarified.
Finally, questions were raised by the participants related to subsidiarity of the companies in the extent of patents, the possibility of criminalisation in antitrust issues, private enforcements, and the value chain of food industry in the national competition authorities.
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Topic of the discussion: Enhancing international competition and cooperation to fight protectionism
Speaker: Mr Joaquin Almunia, Vice-President and Commissioner on Competition
Wednesday, 10 October 2012