[JURIST] A proposal to create a special competition court within the European Union Court of First Instance [official website] has been publicly endorsed by the Court's head justice, who called it the best "if not the only effective way of ensuring speedier and perhaps even better handling of competition cases" at a conference in London. Court President Bo Vesterdorf [official profile] cited the current backlog of cases and the fact that 243 of the 950 pending cases deal with competition issues, such as appeals of European Commission [official website] decisions regarding mergers. In its most extreme example, the Court took 19 months to annul [JURIST report] a joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann which the Commission had approved; the companies are appealing the ruling [Reuters report] to the European Court of Justice [official website].
Responding to concerns of British industry, a UK House of Lords committee [official website] has taken up the issue of a special European competition court, forming a committee which will begin hearings on November 22 and produce a report by January. Bloomberg has more.