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Press Release - Position paper on the European Commission’s public consultation on New Competition Tool (‘NCT’)
08/09/2020

The ECLF has submitted its position paper on the European Commission’s public consultation on New Competition Tool (‘NCT’).
 

The ECLF believes that the introduction of the NCT would represent a rather dramatic shift in the nature of EU competition enforcement and is not persuaded that it fills a sufficiently identified gap. The existing competition rules are fit for purpose and can deal with the challenges of the modern economy. The ECLF also believes that in the case of the NCT’s adoption, it should be of general application and not be confined to the digital sector or indeed to any specific market or sector. The ECLF also sees little justification for cumulatively introducing the NCT for the digital sector, in case the proposed Digital Services Act package is adopted. The ECLF has doubts as to the appropriate legal basis for the introduction of the NCT; Articles 103 and 11 TFEU cannot be a legal basis. In any event, the NCT should fall under the exclusive competence of the European Commission and NCAs should not have any decisional powers aside from being consulted.
 

Finally, the ECLF notes that the UK system of market investigations, which has been mentioned as a model for the NCT, contains an important number of checks and balances, and substantive and procedural safeguards. In short, the UK possesses a powerful enforcement tool but is deliberately subject to carefully judged limits. We would be concerned if the NCT were to be introduced in the EU without equivalent safeguards.

 

The full submission is available here: position paper on the European Commission’s public consultation on New Competition Tool (‘NCT’)