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Public Procurement as a Safeguard for Competition: journal article

The Case of Smart City Services

Laurens Vandercruysse, Caroline Buts, Michaël Dooms

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 5 (2021), Issue 2, Page 102 - 111

Through the adoption of the European Union’s Digital Strategy, the European Commission aims to tackle pressing issues specific to markets of data-intensive services. One of these issues is the substantial and durable competitive advantage that emerges from having exclusive access to large sets of data. The Digital Markets Act proposal, a prime pillar of the Digital Strategy, allows for the identification of gatekeepers. These gatekeepers would then be subject to additional obligations, for example enabling wider data access. This article focuses on the market for smart city services and proposes the adoption of a more proactive approach through public procurement. We argue the onus should be on preventing service providers from becoming gatekeepers, rather than attempting to repair a competitive space once a gatekeeper has arisen. Keywords: smart city, public procurement, data protection, data sharing, EU Digital Strategy


Corona and EU Economic Law: journal article open-access

Competition and Free Movement in Times of Crisis

Friso Bostoen, Nina Colpaert, Wouter Devroe, Joris Gruyters, Lennard Michaux, Liesbet Van Acker

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 4 (2020), Issue 2, Page 72 - 95

The outbreak of the coronavirus—and the responses of governments and businesses to combat the medical and economic crisis it entails—raise a number of urgent questions, many of which concern European economic law, ie the competition rules and free movement provisions. Can businesses cooperate to guarantee the supply of essential items or a vaccine notwithstanding the cartel prohibition of Article 101 TFEU? Is the excessive price doctrine of Article 102 TFEU a match for the price increases caused by hoarding behaviour? Can competition authorities continue to assess mergers, and might they even become more sympathetic to certain arguments such as the failing firm defence and industrial policy considerations? Under which conditions are Member States allowed to grant aid to undertakings that face economic difficulties due to the crisis? Can Member States prohibit the export of medical supplies to other Member States, and can they close their borders for European citizens? And how much freedom do public procurement rules leave governments to quickly conclude contracts for essential supplies? This article addresses these pressing questions in a comprehensive manner. It situates the numerous guidance documents adopted by the European Commission within the broader framework of EU economic law and then evaluates the compatibility of the public and private corona-related measures with that framework. The aim is to offer a legal guide for governments and businesses combatting the corona crisis. Keywords: corona; EU economic law; competition law; internal market law; public procurement

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Issue 2 / 2021