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This is the first book to focus specifically on the impact of EU competition law on the shipping industry since the industry became subject to the full weight of competition law and lost immunity for liner conferences in October 2008. It contains a detailed critique of the European Commission’s guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to maritime transport services, dealing with such issues as the jurisdictional reach of EU law, the rules to be applied in defining the relevant product or geographical markets, the legality of information sharing agreements between competitors and the correct analysis to be applied to pooling agreements in the tramp shipping sector. However, the book is not limited to the maritime guidelines but examines a broad range of competition law issues affecting affecting all sectors of the maritime industry, including ports.
The book was conceived by the European Maritime Law Organisation, the leading European forum for the discussion of maritime competition law, and is based on the Organisation’s 2008 Annual Conference. It contains contributions from a number of leading maritime competition law experts and economists on all the main recent developments in the law that are likely to be of interest to owners, charterers, shippers, brokers, port operators and users etc. It contains fascinating discussions on the problems associated with information sharing, cooperation in the form of pools, consortia and alliances, the limits on state aid and public funding of public services, all of which are likely to appeal to a much wider competition law audience. It is required reading for anyone connected with the shipping or ports industries, but specialist competition lawyers and economists in other sectors will find much in the high quality of the contributions that can be applied in their own areas.
The book is organised in seven parts. First, the book begins with a critique of the European Commission’s maritime policy from a historical perspective and of its new maritime guidelines and the challenges facing legislators and enforcers in the future; part 2 contains a series of chapters looking at the impact on the liner industry; part 3 looks at the impact on the tramp industry, in particular shipping pools and other forms of horizontal cooperation subject to the competition rules, as well as transactions subject to the merger rules; part 4 is concerned with short sea shipping, cabotage and ro-ro trades, all critical links in the maritime infrastructure that have already thrown up some interesting decisions but have not always had the academic attention they deserve; part 5 deals with a few specific areas of law of critical importance in the maritime industry, namely ports, the essential facilities doctrine, vertical agreements and pricing; part 6 looks at state aid rules both in relation to the port sector and in relation to shipping operations; and finally the book ends with part 7 that looks at the important area of private enforcement.
This book is recommended for companies operating in the shipping sector, as well as their customers, lenders and legal advisers, and to competition authorities, economists, judges, policy makers, academics and research institutions involved in this area of the law. The book provides a concise and easy-to-read overview of the subject for those learning about this field of law for the first time, but also contains a great deal to challenge those with existing experience into thinking about some of the key issues in a new light.