Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law

Title: Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law
Date of publication: 2015
Number of pages: 512 p.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Author: Frank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever (contrast, European & Business Law)
Expert public enforcers:
Pablo Amador Sánchez, André Bouquet, Aleksandra Boutin, Eddy De Smijter, Manuel Kellerbauer, Xavier Lewis, Maria Moustakali, Jan Nuijten, Felix Ronkes Agerbeek, Ralf Sauer
Expert private practitioners:
Dirk Arts, Tristan Baumé, Jan Bocken, Thomas De Meese, Pablo Faura Enriquez, Hans Gilliams, Konstantin Jörgens, Ros Kellaway, Stephanie Pautke, Tiffany Rider, Ángel Valdés Burgui, Ingrid Vandenborre, Jim Venit, Vincent Verouden

Frank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever edited a new monograph with Oxford University Press (2015) on Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law, with contributions from renowned private practitioners and public enforcers.

More information on the book, as well as an overview of the contributors, can be found in the OUP catalogue.

Agreements between competitors : a competition law minefield

Oxford University Press published a book focusing entirely on agreements and arrangements between competitors. These kinds of practices are viewed with suspicion in competition law. For the most serious violations, the so-called cartels, the fines can quickly rise into the tens and even hundreds of millions. Many Belgian companies too have already run afoul of the competition law rules and been obliged to pay heavy fines.

The just-published book was edited by Frank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever, both of them founding partners of the specialized law firm contrast. In addition to their own contributions, they have been able to bring together an impressive group of practitioners (from both the legal profession and the European and national competition authorities) in order to make practice-oriented but also scholarly contributions. With authors from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA, it is a truly international work.

Moreover, its organizing concept is quite unique: for each theme, a top specialist from inside or outside the legal profession is paired up with a leading European or national official. Each gives his or her vision of the problematic areas from practice and translates this vision into a series of key points. Difficult questions are not avoided, and the book's tight coordination means that the authors take positions that are very much to the point. This approach ensures that the book can serve not only as a research tool but also as a source of advice for concrete practice.

The book is coming out at just the right moment and aims to help guiding companies safely through the minefield of competition law. Following her predecessors Kroes and Almunia, the new Danish EU Competition Commissioner Vestager has been talking tough whenever the cartel theme is raised, so we are unlikely to see any relaxation of policy. Moreover, along with the European Commission, the national competition authorities in the meantime have also taken up the battle against cartels. Although the newly-published book might not be exactly bedtime reading, the business world would do well to keep it within arm's reach. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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