There was a time when transport, telecommunications, postal services and energy were not open to competition. This resulted into the inefficiencies causing inferior and uneconomical services to the common masses. The objective of EU commission was to liberalize these sectors and let the competitive forces decide the quality of services.
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This helps consumers to have improved services at economical prices. More active players in a given sector bring novelty in the services developing more choices for the consumers. This helps become economy more competitive and consumer friendly. The glaring example is the low-cost airlines being operated in Europe after European Commission opened up the airline industry to competition. Not only services in airlines business are more economical but services have also improved manifold. Another example can be given in the telecommunication sector where EU opened up the sector in January, 1998. This has resulted into the savings of 13% and 23% in their bills on fixed telephones for residential and business users of Europe respectively between 1998 and 2003. These savings were more remarkable for international calls were average cost to OECD countries came down by 41% for all residential users. Thus, it is amply clear that EU commission has been instrumental in providing economical solution to the consumers with much improved services. Merging of large companies in the market place could create a monopoly for them pushing the prices of their products and jeopardizing the interests of consumers. The EU commission keeps a check on this and safeguards the interests of users so that large companies cannot take undue advantage of their large controlling market share in the business. Elf Aquitaine and TotalFina were the major players in the French petroleum market and their merger would have created a monopoly kind of situation controlling almost 60 percent of the service stations on French motorways. The merged entity would have become the largest supplier of liquid petroleum gas (LPG). This would have certainly pushed up the prices to harm the consumers. As a solution, Elf/TotalFina proposed to sell 70 service stations to competitors. On this consideration, EU commission allowed the conditional merger ensuring that consumers continue to get products at fair price. The EU has the right to investigate the mergers with a sole aim of community protection at large. The case of merger of pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Pharmacia is worth enumerating, when commission noted that this may have an adverse impact on competition and consumer’s may not have sufficient choice on certain drugs. As a solution, merger companies proposed transferring some of the drugs to competitors that was agreed by EU commission protecting the interests of drug users. Similar was the case of merger of Sanofi and Synthélabo when two pharmaceutical companies sold off some of the products such as antibiotics,
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