Chapter

Protectionism, Capital Freedom, and the Internal Market

Jonathan Rickford

in Company Law and Economic Protectionism

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199591459
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591459.003.0004
Protectionism, Capital Freedom, and the Internal Market

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Protectionism in the field of company law takes two main forms: firstly, action by governments to insulate national markets from foreign competition, mainly in markets for capital and corporate control; and secondly, action by company controllers to protect themselves from competitive forces in the same markets. There thus emerges an arena for the interplay of national (governmental) and corporate (managerial) self-interest, social policy, and internal market freedoms. The Treaty provisions on free movement of capital have more recently been recognized as an important tool in addressing the tensions involved. Even more recently their relevance has been thrown into doubt. This chapter explores the special problems of the capital freedom and examines its current and expected direction of development, taking account of the implications of developments in other fields of internal market law, notably horizontal application of freedoms of establishment and services and recent rapid developments in the complex field of corporate taxation. These have led to the most recent Court decisions on the boundary between capital and establishment, which are critically examined.

Keywords: protectionism; capital freedom; European company law; foreign competition; national markets; market freedom

Chapter.  20657 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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