The Unique Challenges of Small Economies

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The question of how size affects optimal competition law generates increasing interest. Accordingly, this special issue of the Revue Concurrences includes some of the papers presented at the conference on competition law in small economies. In this essay, Prof. Gal argues that, the size of an economy affects its optimal competition law. The essay defines a small economy, introduces its special economic characteristics and suggests two types of effects of small size on optimal competition law. Mr. Webb is of the opinion that merger policy is an important tool for competition law in small economies, so long as it is used correctly. The example of Jersey is used to exemplify the arguments. Teacher. Steenbergen argues that there are no strong justifications for adopting merger regulation in very small economies, especially if they are surrounded by large economies which have adopted merger control. Finally, Gabriel Bleser recalls that Luxembourg was subject to little and rather inefficient regulation for nearly five decades. The situation changed significantly on 30 May 2004 when a completely new competition law came into force. This explains that cartel enforcement is not yet developed in Luxembourg, but some cartel cases concern the Luxembourg market. Lessons may be drawn from these cases how small authorities can effectively fight against cartels. Firstly, it can be noted that the press plays an important role. Secondly, small and young authorities should focus on enforcement rather than be granted powers to conduct sector inquiries and advisory powers.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


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