Les Cahiers de Recherche - HEC Paris
On the edges of the market : the Court of justice of the European Union and information asymmetry in the regulated professions
Abstract: Some characteristics of the regulated professions cast
doubt on whether it is appropriate to apply competition rules to them.
Unlike traditional activities, the professions contain a substantial
personal aspect relating to the practitioner, who draws on years of
training and experience in his field to provide his services.
characteristic, particularly the intellectual aspect, places these
activities on the edges of the market, not far from the practice of an art.
Competition between professionals focuses on quality, the
personally-tailored relationship with clients and speed of execution. In
contrast to traditional economic activities, relations between the
professional and his client are marked by high information asymmetry. In
this context, professional rules (for instance, advertising bans or tariff
regulation) that go against EU competition rules can nonetheless help to
prevent adverse selection and moral hazard phenomena, and work in favour of
the public interest. At a time when economic justification of European law
decisions has become very important, can the economic concept of
information asymmetry be an argument, a means of legal challenge,
actionable before the courts? Can it lead to moderation of the application
of competition rules in the regulated professions? To answer these
questions, we look specifically at case law issued by the Court of Justice.
The first section deals with the gradual emergence of the concept of
information asymmetry in the opinions issued by the Court's Advocates
General on the question of regulation of professions. The second section
discusses the only two decisions that have referred to the concept, and the
third and final section concludes on the specific irreducibility of the
regulated professions, which in our opinion justifies consideration of the
information asymmetry phenomenon by the Court
Keywords: edges; market; Court; justice; european union; information; asymmetry; regulated; professions; (follow links to similar papers)
21 pages, January 1, 2011
Before downloading any of the electronic versions below
you should read our statement on
for viewing Postscript files and the
Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.
Full text versions of the paper:
Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Sandra Dupouy ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ()
or Helena Lundin ().
Design Joakim Ekebom