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Sailing into choppy waters? World Sailing under the competition law microscope

Sailing world
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 By Alex Haffner, Thomas Edwards

The European Commission ("the Commission") has recently requested further information1 from World Sailing over its choice to select a single manufacturer for its one-design sailing craft. This is the preliminary step in an EU antitrust investigation. This follows news2 that Devoti Sailing, an Italian manufacturer of sailing craft, had obtained a legal opinion stating that World Sailing was in contravention of EU competition law. A separate, but related the matter, filed at the same time as the complaint to the Commission, was referred to the Italian Competition Authority, which was closed with no further action. 

This article explains the background to the investigation, the legal framework, and gives the authors’ views on the arguments that are likely to be raised.

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Written by

Alex Haffner

Alex Haffner

Alex is a Partner in the Commercial, Sports and IP Team at Fladgate LLP, specialising in the sports, technology and media sectors.

Thomas Edwards

Thomas Edwards

Associate, Fladgate 

Thomas is an associate currently sitting in the CSI Corporate department.

Thomas graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in English and a master’s degree in Law before going on to complete his LPC at the University of Law.

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