Under the jurisdiction of the EU competition law, the IG has been through two completed investigations, which were recorded as the 1985 Commission Decision and the 1999 Commission Decision. The Pooling Agreement and the IGA, after modification, were granted individual exemptions and ruled as compatible with Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. The 1999 Commission Decision was valid till 2009 and from 2010 the Commission has reopened its third competition investigation to the Pooling Agreement and the IGA and it is still in process.
It is of interest at this time to systematically review the pre-1999 Commission’s competition measures to the IG and map out the prospects of the Pooling Agreement and the IGA under the Commission’s reopened probe. The dissertation seeks to offer a comparative analysis of the 1985 and 1999 Commission Decisions, in which approach divergences and deficiencies are addressed. Based on this retrospection, the post-1999 variation of legal environments related to the ongoing Commission’s probe is illuminated and then a reappraisal of the Pooling Agreement associated with the IGA is made under the shifted analytic framework.
The purpose of this dissertation is partly to look back at history, providing legal comments on the EU’s competition measures to the Pooling Agreement and the IGA, and partly to look to the future, offering prospects and suggestions in consideration of potential lobbying by the parties concerned.