- Cartels — Joint marketing — Price-fixing — Market definition — Market power — European Union — Research and development aid
The chapter discusses the constituent elements of a cartel, which are agreements or concerted practices between competitors aimed at certain restrictions of competition by object, such as price fixing or market sharing. It then turns to two interrelated topics, namely the burden and standard of proof in cartel investigations, which are discussed by Felix Ronkes Agerbeek (Legal Service, European Commission) from a public enforcer perspective and by Filip Tuytschaever (contrast, Brussels) from the angle of the private practitioner. Alleged cartel participants benefit from the presumption of innocence. The burden of proof lies with the Commission. To discharge its burden of proof, the Commission must comply with the standard of proof and adduce evidence firmly demonstrating the existence of facts constituting a cartel. The EU Courts accept that the Commission relies on certain evidentiary presumptions. The impact of these presumptions for private practitioners and public enforcers is discussed.
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