The European Commission
(EC) Competition Directorate released a recent speech given by Joos Stragier, Head of the Transport Unit, DG Competition, regarding review of the EU Competition Regulation for Maritime Transport. The speech indicates that the Competition Directorate will
expect strong evidence to be provided by the liner companies serving the EU in order to justify renewing the current competition exemption provided to this industry. In a related Consultation Document, the Directorate discusses the current consortia block exemption and issues to be addressed in the renewal process. A Discussion Paper lays out in detail the background of the block exemption and legal issues related thereto. It notes that a public Commission paper, containing concrete proposals for Community action, will be prepared for the autumn. (HK Law).