COMP LAW: The EU competition lawyers’ toolkit
There is a new Competition Law app for the iPhone and iPad – COMP LAW: The EU competition lawyer’s toolkit. As I was lucky enough to be sent a freebie copy I thought I’d pen a quick review.
The app is by Martial Delahaye and is designed to be a curated collection of competition law sources of day-to-day usefulness for an EU competition lawyer. The documents are collated into four main groupings: Antitrust, Mergers, State Aid, and Tips & Info. The first three require little explanation, but the latter contains a list of DG Comp holiday dates and contact and travel details for DG Comp and the CJEU.
In the Antitrust section (which is the one I’m most likely to use) you will find all the key documents you would expect:
the Treaty Articles, Reg 1/2003 & 773/2004, and all the main Notices and Guidance. The text is presented clearly and you can adjust the text size between small and large, and choose between day and night viewing (toggling black/white & while/black text). You can also adjust the screen brightness. All the documents are easy to find and navigate between. The one issue I have with viewing this material on the iPhone is that the default text setting is very small. That probably won’t be a issue on the iPad, but I haven’t been able to test it. There are text size buttons, which allow you to scale up the text to a more usable size on smaller devices. Also in the Antitrust section there is material on dawn raid essentials and complaints. The other section ‘Next procedural steps’ allows you to enter the stage a case is at and it suggests the next likely step.
There is also a ‘Favourites’ section you can use to cut down the number of steps needed to get to your personal ‘go to’ documents.
The Mergers and State Aid sections have the same material in broadly similar sections. One innovation in the Mergers section is the Case Calendar, which allows you to input a notification date and the app then sets out an indicative calender for various stages of the procedure.
The app has been updated since launch to include the Merger Simplification package and the TTBER. I can’t establish whether the app updates content on the fly, or whether the user would need to update the app in the App Store.
The app’s author sets out the its goal as being to “facilitate access of European Union competition law” and particularly the key information EU competition lawyers need “in their pockets”. In this regard it’s a job pretty well done. Their are no obvious omissions from the Official material to be found on the app, and my only reservations are more usability concerns. The default text could be a little larger and it would be good to also be able to view the display in landscape as well as portrait (particularly when you are reading documents). The UK price for the app is £1.49 and if you would find it helpful to have easy access to Legislative and Official competition documents from your i-device this app certainly lets you do so in an effective way.
You can find more info on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/comp-law-eu-competition-lawyers/id824098919?mt=8
UPDATED 12/04/2014: updated to reflect the text in the app is scalable when you press the ‘large text’ button more than once. Thanks to Martial for letting me know.