Monday, February 27, 2017
Kai Huschelrath and Ulrich Laitenberger offer The settlement procedure in the European Commission’s cartel cases: an early evaluation.
ABSTRACT: The introduction of the European Union (EU) Settlement Procedure in 2008 aimed at promoting the speed and efficiency of cartel investigations by the European Commission (EC). We use a data set consisting of 84 cartels decided by the EC from 2000 to 2014 to estimate the impact of the EU Settlement Procedure on the duration of EC cartel investigations. We find a statistically significant reduction in the duration of settled cases of about 8.7 months, suggesting that the settlement procedure has reached its primary aim. However, based on the identification and discussion of possible further impacts of the settlement procedure—particularly on the determination of fines, the operability of the leniency programme, the probability and success of appeals, follow-on private enforcement as well as overall deterrence—we conclude that further empirical analyses are necessary for a comprehensive evaluation of the overall welfare implications of the introduction of the settlement procedure in cartel cases in the EU.