Recent development in restrictions of competition ‘by object’ in EU competition case law, and the role of Hungarian cases
Keywords:EU competition law, restriction by object, Hungarian competition law cases
Complying with the abstract rules of competition law has always been a challenge. The category of ‘restrictions of competition by object’ is precisely what facilitates compliance. However, parallel with the strengthening of compliance, much more complicated restrictions of competition cases have been dealt with by the competition authorities in the EU. In this context, the need for a precise delineation of the category of restrictions of competition by object has increased over the last ten years. The Hungarian cases have contributed signifi cantly to the development of the European Court of Justice’s case law on restrictions of competition by object. In the Hungarian cases referred for a preliminary ruling, the European Court of Justice has confi rmed that the classical categories of restrictions of competition by object can be extended. However, until now, case law has not yet provided examples of this extension, only in cases where the classifi cation of the conduct in question as restriction by object was not clear, or where it was not possible to prove suffi cient harm to competition.
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