Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/23074
Title: Government's misuse of competition laws : discussing the telecom Italia case in Argentina
Authors: Mezzanotte, FE 
Issue Date: 2011
Source: Law and business review of the Americas, 2011, v. 17, no. 2, p. 181-193 How to cite?
Journal: Law and business review of the Americas 
Abstract: An increasing number of countries around the world have enacted competition laws on the premise that competitive markets can deliver substantial benefits to their economies. But there are risks, for these very laws can be used not to protect but rather to suppress competition. The goal of this article is to illustrate how governments can misuse competition laws. To this effect, I discuss the Telecom Italia case. In this case, the Argentine Competition Authority (CNDC) investigated a foreign transaction by which Telefónica de España indirectly acquired shares in Telecom Italia. Although this transaction had taken place in Europe, it nonetheless created competition concerns in Argentina because these two telecoms operated as major rivals in the Argentine telecommunications market. The CNDC found that this deal was a concentration that lessened competition and made its approval conditional on Telecom Italia divesting all of its assets in the relevant markets. I argue that the CNDC's decision was arbitrary and inclined to discriminate against Telecom Italia and in favor of local investors. This article shows how easily disingenuous politics can derail the enforcement of competition laws and why competition authorities ought to function independently and under strict judicial control.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/23074
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