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Cultural Mainstreaming in EC Anti-Trust and Merger Control

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Chapter Summary

It is common knowledge that EC anti-trust rules target the market behaviour of private operators active in any field of economic activity. An exemption to the absolute prohibition of Article 81(1) EC is found in Article 81(3) EC (ex-Article 85(3) EEC). In early anti-trust cases, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made clear that the EC (ex-EEC) competition rules should be construed in the context of the wider ambitions of the Community set out in Articles 2 and 3 EC. This chapter attempts to elucidate the Commission's stance when agreements between undertakings are likely to have important cultural repercussions. The analysis is divided into three parts, in accordance with the nature of the cultural players involved, and particular competition concerns expressed. It discusses the Commission's cultural mainstreaming attitude in general, identifying certain shortcomings and exploring options for a more coherent, consistent approach.

Keywords:Article 81(1) EC; cultural mainstreaming; EC anti-trust rules; European Court of Justice (ECJ)



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