Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Deterring EU Competition Law Infringements: Are We Using the Right Sanctions? Brussels December 3, 2012

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Sanctions are a critical component of any legal regime and competition law should be no exception. Competition law regimes across the world have typically relied on a diverse set of sanctions to deter companies from engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. The EU competition law regime has so far focused on corporate fines, which have risen significantly over the last 20 years. This evolution seems to be in great part due to the Commission’s desire to increase deterrence. However, in recent years, some voices have questioned whether increasing the level of corporate fines is indeed the most appropriate means for increasing deterrence. A number of other criticisms have also been addressed to the European sanctioning regime, ranging from its allegedly high level of uncertainty, its compatibility with international instruments protecting due process, its blindness to corporate compliance programs, or the absence of individual sanctions targeting the individuals who are actually instrumental in the violation of competition law. Are those criticisms founded? Are there major issues with the EU competition law regime? Does it need reform if it wants to achieve its stated goal of higher deterrence?

To take stock of what is known about this question, the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) at Tilburg University and the Liège Competition and Innovation Institute (LCII) at the University of Liège organize a whole-day conference in Brussels on 3 December 2012.* Speakers include prominent academics, enforcers, and practitioners. The conference aims at bringing detailed analysis and up-to-date knowledge to at a large audience of practitioners, academics, public officials, and competition policy observers.

 Organizers welcome support from Schindler Holding AG and the Association of Corporate Counsels.

 

Scientific committee

 

Cédric Argenton (TILEC)

Damien Geradin (TILEC)

Nicolas Petit (LCII)

 

 

PROGRAMME

 

 

8:00 - 9:00 Registration and coffee

 

9:00 - 9:15 Sanctioning Competition Law Infringements: An Overview of the EU Approach

Speaker: Damien Geradin, Partner, Covington & Burling; Professor of
Competition Law and Economics, Tilburg University

 

9:15 - 9:45 Importance and Challenges of Antitrust Compliance for Large
Corporations

Speaker: Christoph Klahold, Chief Compliance Officer, Head of Corporate
Center Compliance, ThyssenKrupp AG

9:45 - 10:15 Optimal Deterrence of Competition Law Infringements

Speaker: Joseph E. Harrington, Professor of Economics, Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania

 

10:15 - 10:30 Coffee break

 

First Panel: Designing Appropriate Sanctions and Incentive Mechanisms

 Moderator: Jacques Steenbergen, Director General, Belgian
Competition Authority

 

10:30 - 10:50 Are Administrative Fines the Best Way to Deter Infringements?

Speaker: Douglas H. Ginsburg, Senior Judge, DC Court of Appeals; Professor of
Law, New York University School of Law

 

10:50 - 11:10 Should Individual Sanctions Be Part of Deterrence Efforts?

 Speaker: Andreas Stephan, Lecturer in Law, University of East Anglia

 

11:10 - 11:30 Contrasting the EU and US Sanctioning Approaches

 Speaker: Thomas O. Barnett, Partner, Covington & Burling; former Assistant
Attorney General, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice

 

11:30 - 11:50 Ways in Which the System of Sanction in EU Competition Enforcement Can Be
Changed

 Speaker: Luis Ortiz-Blanco, Partner, Garrigues; Professor, Complutense
University Madrid

 

11:50 - 12:40 Panel Discussion / Q&As

 

12:40 - 13:30 Lunch

 

Second Panel: Fines, parental liability and challenges for compliance

 Moderator: Anne Riley, Associate General Counsel, Shell

 

13:30 - 13:50 Optimal Deterrence of Collusion in the Presence of Agency Problems within
Firms

Speaker: Cédric Argenton, Professor of Economics, Tilburg University;
Director, Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

 

13:50 - 14:10 Should Parent Companies be Held Liable for the Conduct of their Subsidiaries
when They have not Participated in the Infringement?

 Speaker: Stefan Thomas, Professor of Law, Tubingen University

 

14:10 - 14:30 Compliance Programmes, Codes of Conduct and Social Responsibility Charters –
A Good Idea?

 Speaker: Anny Tubbs, General Counsel, Competition, Unilever

 

14:30 - 15:20 Panel Discussion / Q&As

 

15:20 - 15:35 Coffee break

 

 

Third panel: Addressing the Relationships between EU and National Enforcement
and Public and Private Enforcement, and the Due Process Aspects
Moderator: Marc van der Woude, General Court of the EU

 

15:35 - 15:55 What is the Interplay between EU and National Enforcement and the
Impact on Sanctions?

 Speaker: Christophe Lemaire, Partner, Ashurst

 

15:55 - 16:15 What is the Interplay between Public and Private Enforcement (Actions for
Damages) and the Impact on Sanctions?

Speaker: Eddy de Smijter, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Competition, European
Commission

 

16:15 - 16:35 The Commission’s Fining Policy and the European Convention on Human Rights:
Menarini and its Implications

 Speaker: Eric Morgan de Rivery, Partner, Jones Day

 

16:35 - 17:15 Panel Discussion / Q&As

 


17:15 - 18:00 Conclusions

 

 Final Observations from an Industry Perspective

Speaker: Stefan Gehring, Head of Law and Patents, Chief Compliance Officer,
Bayer MaterialScience AG

 

 Final Observations from a Political Perspective

 Speaker: Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Parliament

 

 Final Observations from an Academic Perspective

Speaker: Nicolas Petit, Professor, University of Liège; Director, GCLC, College
of Europe

 

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

 

Venue

 

Hotel SAS, Brussels

Rue d'Idalie, 35

1050 Brussels

 

Near Brussels-Luxemburg Station

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