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Parallel Enforcement of Global Cartels: journal article

Facts and Figures

Pieter J.F. Huizing

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 4 (2020), Issue 2, Page 96 - 107

The history of active enforcement of cartels having a worldwide scope does not go back much further than twenty-five years. But a remarkable development has taken place within this relatively short timeframe. This article aims to provide quantitative insight into the changing nature of global cartel enforcement. It identifies 41 global cartels which were subject to corporate fines and which were discovered between 1990 and 2018. An analysis of the sanctioning of these cartels shows that more and more authorities are pursuing global cartels, often in parallel. The Auto parts, Maritime car carriers and Air cargo cartels for example were each subject to fines in ten or more different jurisdictions. The proliferation of authorities pursuing global cartels has contributed to the dramatic rise of the overall level of fines imposed for global cartel conduct. There are now nine global cartels for which penalties exceeding $1 billion have been imposed. In view of the increasingly crowded enforcement community, one would expect to see greater levels of inter-agency coordination in respect of not just the investigation but also the punishment of global cartels. However, attempts to coordinate the outcome of proceedings in order to reach an overall proportionate fine still appear to be both ad hoc and rare. Keywords: global cartels; international cartel enforcement; cartel fines; parallel enforcement; inter-agency coordination


The Otis Judgement: Another Conformation of the Expansive Scope of Cartel Liability after Kone (C-435/18 Otis) journal article

Martin Gassler

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 4 (2020), Issue 1, Page 45 - 48

Case C-435/18 Otis GmbH and others v Land Oberösterreich and others, Judgement of the Court of Justice of 12 December 2019 On 12 December 2019, the Court of Justice (CJ) delivered another preliminary reference ruling that further strengthens private antitrust enforcement in the EU. The CJ followed Advocate General Kokott and ruled that even persons not acting as suppliers or purchasers on the market affected by the cartel can claim damages directly from cartel members. The judgement was delivered upon request by the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberste Gerichtshof) that struggled again – after its request for a preliminary ruling in connection with the same elevator cartel in 2014 that led to the Kone judgement – to apply national tort law that restricted liability of cartel members to only those suppliers and purchasers that are active on the relevant product and geographic market affect by the cartel.



The Balance Between Effectiveness and Fundamental Rights Protection in the Law and Enforcement of Article 101 TFEU journal article

Baskaran Balasingham

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 3 (2019), Issue 4, Page 363 - 370

Effectiveness and due process require careful balancing in order to safeguard a workable enforcement environment. On the one hand, the legal qualification of collusive conduct has been facilitated to some degree by a broad interpretation of Article 101(1) TFEU and the use of presumptions. On the other hand, the burden and standard of proof, as well as the judicial review in relation to EU cartel proceedings satisfy the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This article argues that the EU Courts have succeeded in establishing a proper balance between effective cartel enforcement and the protection of fundamental rights. Keywords: Article 101 TFEU, Cartel Enforcement, Effectiveness, Fundamental Rights, Judicial Review


Revaluing the Role of Intent Evidence in EU Antitrust Law journal article

Jan Blockx

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 3 (2019), Issue 4, Page 354 - 362

The arguments that have been made against using intent evidence in EU antitrust enforcement are not conclusive. On the contrary, because of the difficulties of conducting economic analyses of the effects of commercial conduct, it makes sense to look at the intentions of the persons engaging in that conduct to interpret their behaviour. Also for the punishment of anticompetitive behaviour, the presence or absence of anticompetitive intentions should be relevant. Keywords: Antitrust, Intent, Enforcement


Competition Authorities’ Decisions and Antitrust Damages Actions journal article

Ignacio García-Perrote Martínez

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 3 (2019), Issue 4, Page 371 - 379

Private enforcers of competition law, especially the infringers’ direct and indirect purchasers claiming compensation for the damages suffered, must bring evidence of the existence of an infringement of competition law, the loss suffered, the causal relation between the infringement and the damage, and the specific quantum. The most challenging element to prove is the infringement itself. Given competition authorities’ investigation powers, their decisions become a crucial element to ease the claimants’ burden of proof and to make compensation possible. Keywords: Pre-emptive Administrative Ruling, Competition Authorities Decisions, Damages Actions, Competition Law Enforcement


Overview of the National Enforcement of EU Competition Law journal article

András Tóth

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 2 (2018), Issue 4, Page 258 - 270

This article provides a practical overview of the most recent and interesting developments arising from the national enforcement of EU competition law. It is not only the preliminary rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union that highlight interesting competition cases taking place at national level. For example, as will be discussed in this article, other important developments such as the recognition of compliance programmes and the first pricing algorithm case also occurred at national level. It appears that national competition authorities (NCAs) are more opened to ensure consistency between competition and other policies, such as the protection of personal data (eg the Facebook case in Germany) and the promotion of small and medium sized enterprises. NCAs can more rapidly adapt to the changing competition policy context, as can be seen, for example, in their treatment of mergers involving targets not possessing high enough turnover but having significant market potential. The ECN+ Directive provides NCAs with a minimum common tool-kit and effective enforcement powers for the implementation of EU antitrust rules in many important areas. However, there are still significant areas (eg regarding the admissibility of criminal evidence and multiple filings) where further improvements would be desirable in the future. Keywords: Data Driven Economy, Multiple Merger Filing, Admissability of Criminal Evidences, European Competition Network (ECN), Cross-Border Enforcement of Competition Fines


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