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The Application Of EC Competition Rules To The Port Sector

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Chapter Summary

Ports play an important role in the efficient and smooth functioning of maritime transport. The ownership, organisation and financing of ports vary greatly in the EU. While the EC competition rules also comprise State aid, this chapter deals only with the antitrust provisions of the EC Treaty, i.e. Articles 81 and 82 EC. It explains the application of these rules to the port sector in the light of the existing jurisprudence of the European Courts and the decision-making practice of the European Commission, as well as the role of the anti-trust rules in the overall context of market access to port infrastructure and services. Most cases where the EC antitrust rules have been applied to ports have concerned abuse of a dominant position under Article 82 EC. It may be recalled that the mere existence of a dominant position is not prohibited by this provision, but merely the abuse thereof.

Keywords: Article 81 EC; Article 82 EC; EC antitrust rules; EC competition rules; maritime transport; port sector



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