Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Recent Developments in EU Anti-Cartel Enforcement

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

When you want news about developments in government enforcement, sometimes you want to go to the source.   In our case that is  Kirtikumar Mehta (European Commission, DG Competition) who writes on Recent Developments in EU Anti-Cartel Enforcement.

ABSTRACT: Anti-cartel enforcement has been a major priority for some time for all competition agencies. Beyond intensifying investigative actions and prosecutions, however, the primary thrust of policy and indeed the chief yardstick for evaluation of enforcement is the degree to which ongoing cartel activities in the jurisdiction are severely deterred. Fines or other sanctions through which this deterrence may be expected to dissuade cartel conduct thus assume a central role in any policy considerations.

In the EU, fines on undertakings involved in cartel infringements are set according to the 2006 guidelines on fines which succeeded the 1998 guidelines. As recent decisions show, under the new guidelines fines may be hefty and are claimed to be substantially higher than would have been the case under the previous guidelines, particularly where cartel turnover is high, the cartel was durable, and an undertaking concerned (the term 'undertaking' referring to the corporate group in its entirety) is not only a large multiproduct entity but also a repeat offender.

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