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Part III Practical Challenges, 10 European Antitrust Criminalization and the Third Challenge of Design: Identifying the Desirable Enforcement Strategies

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: 27 June 2022

Cartels — Application of EU competition rules

This chapter examines the third challenge of design for European antitrust criminalization: the identification of important enforcement strategies that help to ensure that the criminal cartel regime is effective in practice. These strategies were categorized into four distinct imperatives: (i) avoiding the ‘compliance trap’; (ii) securing sufficient support from stakeholders in the project of antitrust criminalization; (iii) designing effectively the criminal antitrust enforcement agency/agencies; and (iv) securing international support for the enforcement efforts of the criminalized cartel regime. The ‘compliance trap’ occurs when political support for the moral seriousness of the law which an (antitrust) authority must enforce is lacking. To secure public support for cartel criminalization, the authorities must engage in considerable educative efforts regarding the nature of cartel activity. A particular disadvantage of the criminalization of cartel activity is the need for international cooperation combined with the possible lack of desire of other jurisdictions to provide such cooperation when imprisonment could occur.

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