Part III Practical Challenges, 8 European Antitrust Criminalization and the First Challenge of Design: Defining the Criminal Cartel Offence
Peter Whelan Dr
From: The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges
- Cartels — Fines for cartels — Application of EU competition rules
This chapter analyses the first challenge of design for European antitrust criminalization: defining the criminal cartel offence itself. There are two problematic issues concerning the definition of a criminal cartel offence, both of which must be understood—if not resolved—by legislatures that are serious about the effective enforcement of their criminal cartel laws. First, the impact of Regulation 1/2003 on the design and operation of a national cartel offence needs to be articulated. This is an issue which is unique to the EU Member States. Second, the legislature which is responsible for drafting a given national criminal cartel law is required to make a decision about how to deal with ‘acceptable’ cartel activity. The challenge for the drafters of a criminal cartel offence is how to ensure that 'acceptable' cartel activity is carved out of the criminal offence without making the offence unworkable in practice.