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The End of Member State Autonomy in the Calculation of Fines in EU Competition Law? The Implications of the Zenith Communications Ruling. journal article

Francesco Rizzuto

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 7 (2023), Issue 3, Page 193 - 199

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 10 November 2022 in Case C-385/21 Zenith Media Communications SRL v Consiliul Concurenţei . National rules for calculating fines for infringements of competition rules which require national competition authorities to only consider an undertakings' total annual turnover, without factoring in evidence that that turnover does not reflect an undertakings' true economic situation, is contrary to Union law. In this regard, the Zenith Communications ruling reduces the discretion of the Member States in the setting of fines.


Except for the Fine, the General Court Endorses Commission’s Decision in Altice journal article

Nora Memeti

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 7 (2023), Issue 2, Page 129 - 133

Case T-425/18 Altice Europe NV v European Commission, Judgment of the General Court (Sixth Chamber) of 22 September 2021 The European Union Merger Regulation (EUMR) states that the acquirer must notify the acquisition to the European Commission (EC) and must not implement the concentration prior to its clearing. Altice was found to have infringed both Article 4(1) EUMR, an infringement often referred to as Gun Jumping, and Article 7(1) EUMR, known as standstill obligation. Based on the findings, the EC fined Altice an unprecedented fine of €124.5 million for both infringements, each €62.25 million. This is the highest fine imposed for such infringements ever. Altice appealed to the General Court (GC). The appeal focused on the finding and the legality of the EC’s decision to issue fines for violations of EUMR. The GC largely dismissed the applicant's annulment action except in relation to the amount of the monetary fines. Based on its unlimited powers related to fines, the GC reduced the fine by 10%.