Informations and abstract
Keywords: Competition; Antitrust; Industrial policy; Covid-19.
Relaxing antitrust rules during economic crisis has been a recurrent temptation, whereas competition can be part of the solution, especially when integrated with public policies aimed at protecting redundant employees and more vulnerable firms. The challenge for competition authorities during the virus is in the short run to contribute to the re-building of the markets, providing legal certainty for the cooperation agreements strictly necessary to face the emergency and, given the tool-kit at their disposal, contributing to contain price spikes. In the medium run, while the industries most affected by the crisis reorganize their structure, merger review should privilege a pragmatic and flexible approach but not a permissive one. However, market process may be insufficient when long term decisions have to be made in order to make our economic system more resilient. In this perspective public intervention could play a crucial role but has to be consistent with competition.