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The ECN Grand Chamber:

Updating the ECN to Face the Challenges of the Online World

Gabriele Carovano

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/core/2018/3/5

Keywords: European Competition Network, ECN, ECN Plus Directive, Consistency, Diversity, Digital Single Market, Cooperation, National Competition Authority

It is the overriding belief that EU competition rules should be applied uniformly, but reality shows that this is not the case. Moreover, the so-called ‘Digital Revolution’ has intensified the risk of non-homogeneous results by raising the number of multinational players, cross-border cases, and new competition issues needing a solution. This article argues that enhancing uniformity should not necessarily mean the eradication of diversity. Uniformity should instead be the result of a process able to canalise diversity. Hence, space within the system should be created where diversity can be utilised to produce better quality policies and avoid conflicting results. The article then suggests how this diversity should be co-ordinated within the European Competition Network (ECN) where the National Competition Authorities (NCAs) and the Commission share policy solutions and ideas. In particular, the article will suggest how the ECN should be modified to be able to balance the unbalanced, to transform externalities into internalities. NCAs should not only act in defence of their National interests or consumers, but should pursue one single goal: the protection of the European interests and consumers. ‘Un pour tous, tous pour un’.
Keywords: European Competition Network, ECN Plus Directive, Consistency, Cooperation, Digital Single Market, National Competition Authority

Gabriele Carovano, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. This article is based on the author’s LLM experimental dissertation which was submitted to King’s College London University in September 2017. The author would like to thank Prof William Kovacic for helpful comments and suggestions. For correspondence: <mailto:Gabriele.Carovano@kcl.ac.uk>.


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