Good news as 2007 draws to a close – the year was the most successful on record for the European Commission’s work fining companies for behaving anti-competitively – 3.3 billion Euro in total, so more than 2% of the EU’s annual income. Handelsblatt has a good article about it (in German). Siemens, Thyssen-Krupp and Microsoft have all been fined upwards of 400 million Euro each. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes does not make a fuss about the work that she is doing, but steadily the Commission gets to work, sector by sector, and roots out anti-competitive behaviour. Surely her work should be something that even eurosceptics in the Tory party should be happy about? But that would mean they had to lessen their blinkered approach.
Jon, you are quite right about the importance of free and fair competition, since – in the end – European consumers are the ones who benefit.