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One of the initial goals of the EC was to make trading in the European Economic Area simpler by eradicating the barriers to trade within the region. This included the abolishment of imports and excise tax within the region; as well as protectionist policies instituted by the domestic governments to promote the sale and trade of domestic products…
Within the UK Articles 81 and 82 EC have been incorporated into the Competition Act 1998 (CA). The aim of these articles and the CA is to prohibit agreements, business practices and behaviors that have, or are intended to have, a damaging effect on competition in the UK (in the EU for the EC Articles).1 Article 81 prohibits any dealings that will distort competition within the EU, which includes any agreement from insider trading through to companies discriminating to supply goods or services on the basis of preferential businesses. The sale and supply of goods and services should be open to all members of the class that the company deals with. Also the sale of goods and services should be based on fair and open grounds, examples that the Office of Fair Trading and the EC use to illustrate anti-competitive agreements, in addition to cartels, include:
The basis that the EC has used to identify what grounds are anti-competitive can arguably be determined as not economic, but more socially based. On economic grounds could such agreements as shown above not be a way to create a more competitive market, because if the present competitors agree to limit output does this not open the door for new businesses to open up in order for supply to meet the demand. ...
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