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5 Cartel Prosecution

Cédric Argenton, Damien Geradin, Andreas Stephan

From: EU Cartel Law and Economics

Cedric Argenton, Damien Geradin, Andreas Stephan

From: Oxford Competition Law (http://oxcat.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 08 June 2023

Infringement cases — Appeals — Confidentiality — Application of EU competition rules — Infringement actions — Sanction, Commission's power of — Formal investigation proceedings

This chapter describes the various stages of cartel prosecution, from the first request of information by the European Commission to the final decision and judicial review. It shows that, after the Commission services have uncovered some cartel activity, they need to investigate the matter and build a legal case leading to a formal infringement decision. Until the coming into force of Regulation 1/2003, that was the only legal route available. Since, the defendants and the Commission may agree to settle the case. In both circumstances, however, sanctions take the exclusive form of corporate fines. Both the existence (and scope) of an infringement and the size of fines can be contested through judicial review. The chapter also discusses the way firms which are part of a cartel are, or should be, sanctioned.

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