Thursday, November 17, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: The objectives of this report are to: describe the fining policy of the European Commission for breach of EU competition rules; assess this policy in light of the criticisms that have been made by academics, practitioners and other stakeholders; and to the extent these criticisms are justified, make concrete proposals to improve the Commission’s fining policy.
This discussion paper does not suggest that undertakings that have breached EU competition rules should get off the hook lightly. Sanctions should be part of all legal regimes and this is also true for competition law. Because of the severe harm that can be created by competition law infringements, sanctions for such infringements must be sufficiently strict to ensure deterrence. Against this background, the proposals made in this discussion paper seek to improve the efficiency and fairness of such sanctions, and ensure that they are made at the least cost to society. Some of these proposals are easier to implement than others, and it is not suggested that all proposals should be implemented at once.