Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

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)






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

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

 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

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


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







Hotel SAS, Brussels

Rue d'Idalie, 35

1050 Brussels


Near Brussels-Luxemburg Station

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