On 18 October Chief Competition Economist working group meeting of the European Competition Network (ECN) for the first time took place in Riga, Latvia. More than 35 chief economists from the competition authorities gathered together at the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) to discuss methodological issues of economics and econometrics in the application of competition rules.

The meeting was organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the CC and was opened by the new Chief Economist Professor Tommaso Vallett.

The meeting was honoured by the previous Chief Economist Professor Massimo Motta, who is one of the world's leading economic experts. Professor M. Motta in his presentation analysed a concept of exploitative pricing abuses by dominant undertakings. Such issues have become more topical not only in Latvia but also in many other countries in Europe. Therefore, these discussions might introduce new and more effective approaches against an exploitative abuse.

Dmitrijs Skoruks, Head of Economic Analysis Unit of the CC, said: “Competition law should be seen as more than a sticky legislation. There is always room for improvement, especially by developing new methods of economic analysis in cooperation with world’s leading economists. The opportunity to organise such a meeting in Latvia confirms that we are seen as professionals able to participate in joint EU investigations and sector inquiries. It is also an opportunity to share in experience with other countries and learn about new economic methods to tackle competition infringements.”

ECN has been established as a forum for discussion and cooperation of European competition authorities in cases where Articles 101 (prohibited agreements) and 102 (an abuse of dominant position) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU are applied. The objective of the ECN is to build an effective legal framework to enforce EC competition law against companies who engage in cross-border business practices which restrict competition and are therefore anti-consumer.

The EU Commission and competition authorities from EU member states cooperate with each other through the ECN by - informing each other of new cases and envisaged enforcement decisions, coordinating investigations, where necessary, helping each other with investigations and discussing various issues of common interest.

For media inquiries

Mr Toms Noviks
Head of Communication Unit of the
Competition Council of Latvia
Phone +371 67365210