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This chapter discusses the institutional set-up and procedural design of a possible future European market investigation regime. The institutional framework and procedural rules must be tailored to promote the core goals of the new instrument, namely to address competition problems that do not primarily follow from conduct, but from „features of the market“, such that a European market investigation – contrary to traditional infringement proceedings – will not be of a quasi-criminal nature, but a purely administrative proceedings, and to allow for a particular timely intervention. Against this background, the following questions are raised: How does the market investigation regime interact with Article 101 and 102 TFEU enforcement and sector inquiries at the EU level and at the national level? How can the procedure be structured such as to allow for a timely and effective intervention? What can be done to allow for a less adversarial and more participative interaction between the Commission and market actors? Furthermore, the remedial regime, voluntary commitments, the possibility for interim measures and judicial review are discussed.
This chapter introduces the book. It explains that market investigations may be useful tool to deal with markets that do not function as they should, and in this perspective they have been proposed as one of the elements of the Digital Markets Act propoal in the EU.
In many economic sectors – the digital industries being first and foremost – the market power of dominant firms has been steadily increasing and is rarely challenged by competitors. Existing competition laws and regulations have been unable to make markets more contestable. The book argues that a new competition tool is needed: market investigations. This tool allows authorities to intervene in markets which do not function as they should, due to market features such as network effects, scale economies, switching costs, and behavioural biases. The book explains the role of market investigations, assesses their use in the few jurisdictions where they exist, and discusses how they should be designed. In so doing, it provides an invaluable and timely instrument to both practitioners and academics.
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