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Part I Theoretical Challenges, 2 Potential Theoretical Justifications for European Antitrust Criminalization

Peter Whelan Dr

From: The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges

Peter Whelan

From: Oxford Competition Law (http://oxcat.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 July 2022

Cartels — Fines for cartels — Application of EU competition rules

This chapter presents two different criminal punishment theories which are potentially relevant to the European antitrust criminalization debate: deterrence and retribution. These theories were deemed to be of potential relevance for antitrust criminalization because: (i) the current literature on criminal cartel sanctions focuses to varying degrees on both of these theories; and (ii) the objectives of deterrence and retribution are currently pursued by the EU antitrust enforcers. Deterrence seeks to prevent future activity, either in a general (public-focused) or specific (individual-focused) sense. Meanwhile, retribution posits that individuals should face a criminal charge due to the fact that they have committed a moral wrong. The chapter then looks at the current status of the enforcement theories of deterrence and retribution in EU antitrust law.

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