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The Autumn 20th CLaSF workshop - Edinburgh Law School  

Call for papers -Autumn 20th CLaSF workshop Edinburgh Law School on Thursday Sept 13 2012 - Competition Law and the Economic Crisis Deadline - 31 May 2012 CLASF CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE 20th CLaSF WORKSHOP EDINBURGH LAW SCHOOL, THURSDAY 13th SEPTEMBER 2012 Competition law and the economic crisis The next Competition Law scholars’ Forum will consider the broad theme of competition law and the issues arising from the economic crisis. Since Autumn 2008, and to this day, a broad ranging crisis has swept through a growing number of economic sectors; starting from the banking and financial sector, the crisis has affected numerous industries and has triggered sometimes “convulsive” reactions by the public authorities, the economic operators and many of the stakeholders. But what role has competition law played in this scenario? According to the EU Commission the effective application of the competition rules is an essential tool to rebuild a fragile economy: however, the intervention of many member states to “prop up” “failing” businesses, such as the British Government-backed rescue of Northern Rock, seems to cast doubt on this commitment. However, state aid is not the only area in which the “rules of the game” seems to have been bent in order to deal with the emergency. Merger policy has equally proven an invaluable tool to facilitate the restructuring of entire industries and thereby “weather the storm” of the crisis, especially at domestic, as opposed to EU level. But as it stands, the worse does not seem to be over yet. As the economy still seems to be faltering in many quarters and another bout of monetary and financial losses loom, the question is how the maintenance of effective rivalry among competitors can be attained without stifling the weak recovery, so that goals of growth and welfare of consumers across Europe can be achieved in the medium and long term. As the Commissioner for Competition, Joaquim Almunia, stated at the beginning of December, while it would have been preferable to terminate the “crisis regime” governing the application of the competition rules to the financial sector after three years, the sovereign debt crisis has meant that these exceptional rules are going to remain in force for a while yet. This decision however is likely to have considerable effects on the financial and banking market: it will affect, on the one hand, the relationship between the banks and the domestic authorities, especially in respect to providing extra guarantees, and, on the other hand, the reciprocal relations between competing financial and banking institutions, who are faced with considerable and increasingly uniform capitalisation obligations. But what does this all mean for the “European project” of a competitive, social market economy? It is clear that the current predicament is having and will continue to have ripple effects throughout the real economy: thus, it could be argued that any solution for the financial crisis will be both an example for other sectors and a springboard through which recovery can kickstart in numerous industries. This workshop seeks to address the issues arising from the interplay of the competition rules and the “real questions” emerging from the current economic crisis, not just in the banking and financial sectors but also in the wider “real economy” arena. Papers and discussions are expected to touch upon themes such as (but not limited to): - the objectives and the limits of competition law more generally; - the interplay between consumer welfare and economic efficiency and broader social market goals, such as the maintenance of employment levels in times of crisis; - the evolution of merger policy as a means to tackle the consequences of economic downturn; - cooperation as a means of “guided restructuring” in industries facing crisis: from crisis cartels to joint ventures seeking to rely on investment as a way out of the slump; - The problems of “moral hazard” and “too big to fail”? The public interest implications of banking restructuring for the stability of the sector; - “Too muddled to work?” Consumer protection in a concentrated banking and financial sector—the role of information and transparency; - The market for credit rating services: friend or foe? - When will it all end? And has it worked? State aid and the financial crisis. Papers are invited from scholars, regulators and practitioners on any of these issues or other topics which fall generally within the broad theme of ‘Competition Law and the economic crisis’. Any person interested in presenting a paper at the workshop is asked to contact the Vice-Chair of CLaSF, Professor Barry Rodger at barry.j.rodger@strath.ac.uk. An abstract is required of approximately 500-1000 words, to be submitted by no later than 31 May, with decisions taken by no later than 15 June. Submission of presentation/draft paper is also required a week prior to the workshop. Papers presented at the workshop can be submitted to the Competition Law Review editorial board with a view to being published in the Review. Note that the Review is a fully refereed scholarly law journal: Submission does not guarantee publication.

From Society of Legal Scholars
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