EU Internal Market Law and the Private Regulation of Sport
This case study supports the conclusions of the general chapters by analysing the application of the free movement and competition rules in the area of sports. Early on, judgments of the CJEU opened the door to the application of the internal market rules against the sporting world’s claim for autonomy. Competition law followed a similar trajectory: it remains broadly applicable over the rules of sporting bodies while creating outlets for justification beyond economic efficiency. The chapter argues that the two sets of rules have converged to an unusual extent in this area and have been used interchangeably. Relying on internal market law, EU institutions have been able to impose limited reforms on sports regulators even in the absence of a legislative competence. Sporting bodies are recognized as legitimate, and EU law defers to their measures as long as they are non-discriminatory and based on good governance principles.
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