EC Competition Law and Policy

A fifth and sixth examples comprise the related and similar cases of Strintzis Lines Shipping v Commission and Minoan Lines v Commission appealing the decision of the Commission to impose fines on these two shipping companies together with other ferries dubbed the Greek Ferries case. The fine totalled €9. 12 million.

The decision of the Commission to impose the fine was due to actions of the Greek ferries, Strinzis Lines, Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Marlines SA and Karageorgis Lines, in fixing prices of Ro-Ro ferry services and the Greek ferry companies, Strinzis Lines, Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Ventouris Group Enterprises SA Karageorgis Lines and Adriatica di Navigazione SpA in fixing the fares for the trucks carried via water through the Brindisi and Patras-Bari shipping routes.

Price fixing is a violation under Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty prohibiting agreements that affect trade by restricting competition through price fixing. These cases comprised the greater focus of the Commission in deterring uncompetitive practices expressed through the amount of the fine imposed on these shipping companies as well as the resolution of complaints for unfair practices involving price fixing activities. The seventh example is Atlantic Container Line and Others v Commission case comprise violation of competitive laws and policies in the 21st century.

This means that even after the Commission has imposed stringent fines for violations for a decade, some shipping companies still commit violations. The case involved the complaint for exercise of collective dominance by a number of shipping companies over rates and conditions of the shipping agreements with customers. This meant that customers had no choice but to engage the services of these shipping companies according to established rates and conditions since these shipping companies significantly control the shipping route between North American and Western Europe as well as internal routes.

Due to these actions, the Commission imposed a substantial sum on these shipping companies that they appealed but failed. The eighth example is the Compagnie maritime belge v Commission case that covers the complaint for abuse of collective dominant position again in the 21st century by the liner in accordance with the CEWAL conference . This is not the first time that the Commission received reports of abuse relative to shipping companies forming part of this conference.

The Commission imposed a fine on the shipping company based on evidence, which the shipping company appealed without success. Perhaps the persistence of abuse of collective dominance a decade after the Commission first imposed substantial fines for unfair practice and anti-competitive practices that lead to the abolition of the exemption for liner conferences. Conclusion Overall, the laws and policies of the EC are generally successful because of its roots in competitive considerations.

The importance of the shipping industry in the trading capability of the EC comes from sufficient and effective legal and policy support. However, there are also areas of weakness particularly the need to align and link laws and policies to develop a cohesive shipping legal and policy regime as well as develop a broader perspective of the competitive environment of global shipping as basis for improvements in shipping laws and policies.

The shipping laws and policies of the EC continue to change as it tries to sort out the provisions and policies that work and those that require changing. The timely evaluation of current laws and policies and implementation of improvements become necessary if the EC is to develop the sustainability of it shipping industry via effective legal and policy support.

Bibliography Books A Albors-Llorens, EC Competition Law and Policy (Willan Publishing, London 2002) A Branch and M Stopford, Maritime Economics (2nd edn Routledge Tailor and Francis Group, New York 1997) A Bredima-Savopoulou and J Tzoannos, The Common Shipping policy of the EC (Elsevier Science Publishing, Amsterdam 1990) P Capps and M Evans, Asserting Jurisdiction: International and European Legal Approaches (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2003) D Hildebrand, The Role of Economic Analysis in the EC Competition Rules (Kluwer Law International, Oxford 2002)