Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

3/13/2015

Antitrust:OverviewCompetitionEuropeanCommission

EuropeanCommission
Competition

Inthissection:

Antitrust

Overview

Proceduresinanticompetitiveagreements

What'snew?
OfficialJournal

(Article101TFEUcases)

Legislation
Cases
Cooperationwith
nationalcourts
Sectorinquiries
Publications
Actionsfordamages
Compliance
Practicalinformation

Overview

Procedures:anticompetitivepractices

Procedures:abuseofdominance
Downloadpdf

Article101oftheTreatyontheFunctioningoftheEuropeanUnion(TFEU)prohibitsagreementsbetweencompanieswhichprevent,restrictor
distortcompetitionintheEUandwhichmayaffecttradebetweenMemberStates(anticompetitiveagreements).Theseinclude,forexample,
pricefixingormarketsharingcartels.Anticompetitiveagreementsareprohibitedregardlessofwhethertheyareconcludedbetweencompanies
thatoperateatthesamelevelofthesupplychain(horizontalagreements)oratdifferentlevels(verticalagreements).
Article101canbeappliedbytheEuropeanCommissionorbythecompetitionauthoritiesoftheEUMemberStates.Detailsontheapplicationof
Article101canbefoundinRegulation1/2003(theAntitrustRegulation).

Howacasestarts
Article101casescanoriginatein:1)acomplaint,2)openingofanowninitiativeinvestigation,or3)aleniencyapplicationfromoneofthe
participantstoacartel.UndertheCommission'sLeniencyprogramme,thefirstfirmtosubmitevidencethatissufficientfortheCommissionto
eitherlaunchaninspectionorenableittofindaninfringementreceivesfullexemptionfromitsfine(totalimmunity).Whenitappliesfor
immunity,thefirmmustalsoenditsparticipationintheinfringement.FirmsthatapproachtheCommissionlaterandthatcontributearealadded
valuetotheinvestigationareeligibleforafinereduction,subjecttothesameongoingcooperationasforimmunityapplicants.

Investigation
TheCommission'sinvestigativepowerstoenforceArticle101aredetailedintheAntitrustRegulation.TheCommissionisempowered,for
example,to:
Sendinformationrequeststocompanies
Inthecontextofaninspection:
enterthepremisesofcompanies
examinetherecordsrelatedtothebusiness
takecopiesofthoserecords
sealthebusinesspremisesandrecordsduringaninspection
askmembersofstafforcompanyrepresentativesquestionsrelatingtothesubjectmatterandpurposeoftheinspectionandrecordthe
answers.
Attheendoftheinitialinvestigativephase,theCommissioncantakethedecisiontopursuethecaseasamatterofpriorityandtoconductanin
depthinvestigation,ortocloseit.Incartelcases,ifthecaseistobepursued,theCommissiondecideswhetherornotthecaseissuitableforthe
settlementprocedure(see"Settlement"below).

Statementofobjectionsandprohibitiondecision
IftheindepthinvestigationconfirmstheCommission'scompetitionconcerns,astatementofobjections(SO)detailingtheCommission'sconcerns
issenttothecompaniesconcerned.
Rightsofdefence:Toensureanobjectiveoutcome,thepartiesaregivencertainrightsofdefence.Theyareentitledtohaveaccesstothefile
thismeanstheycanseeallnonconfidentialdocumentsfromtheCommission'sinvestigation.ThepartiesmaythenreplytotheSOinwriting
withinacertaindelay.Theymayalsorequestanoralhearing,whichisconductedbyanindependentHearingOfficer.Afterexaminingthe
parties'arguments,theCommissionreviewsandsometimesabandons(partof)itsinitialobjectionsandmaydecidetoclosethecase.
IftheCommission'sconcernsarenotoronlypartlydispelleditdraftsadecisionprohibitingtheidentifiedinfringement(accordingtoArticle7of
theAntitrustRegulation).ThedraftisthensubmittedtotheAdvisoryCommitteecomposedofrepresentativesoftheMemberStates'competition
authorities.Thisprovidesafinalcheckofthedraftdecision.Iffinesareproposedinthedraftdecision,theAdvisoryCommitteemeetsasecond
timetospecificallydiscussthem.Finally,thedraftissubmittedtotheCollegeofCommissionerswhichadoptsthedecision.

Article9commitmentdecisions

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/procedures_101_en.html

1/2

3/13/2015

Antitrust:OverviewCompetitionEuropeanCommission

Article9commitmentdecisions

AlternativelytoaprohibitiondecisiontheCommissionmaytakeacommitmentdecisionunderArticle9ofRegulation1/2003.Thisisaquickway
ofrestoringeffectivecompetitiontothemarket.Undercommitmentdecisions,theCommissiondoesnothavetoconcludeontheexistenceofan
infringementoftheantitrustrulesandimposesnofines.Itvoicesitscompetitionconcernsandpartiescancomeforwardwithcommitmentsto
addresstheseconcerns.IftheCommission,afterconsultingmarketparticipants,findsthesecommitmentssufficient,ittakesadecisiontomake
themlegallybinding.
Thecommitmentsareusuallyinplaceforaspecificperiodoftime,andifthecompaniesbreachthemtheycanbefined.

Fines
Acompanythathasparticipatedinananticompetitiveagreementandsoinfringedcompetitionlawmayhavetopayafine.TheCommission's
finingpolicyisaimedatpunishmentanddeterrence.Thefinesreflectthegravityanddurationoftheinfringement.Theyarecalculatedunder
theframeworkofasetofGuidelineslastrevisedin2006.
Thestartingpointforthefineisthepercentageofacompany'sannualsalesoftheproductconcernedintheinfringement(upto30%).Thisis
thenmultipliedbythenumberofyearsandmonthstheinfringementlasted.Certainaggravatingcircumstances(e.g.repeatoffender)or
attenuatingcircumstances(e.g.limitedinvolvement)mayincreaseordecreasethefine.Incartelcases,thefineisincreasedbyaonetime
amountequivalentto1525%ofthevalueofoneyear'ssalesasanadditionaldeterrent.Themaximumleveloffineiscappedat10%ofthe
overallannualturnoverofacompany.
Seeseparatefactsheetonfines.

Rightofappeal
TheaddresseesofaCommissiondecisionhavetherighttoappealtotheEUGeneralCourt,toamendorannulthedecision.TheCourtcancancel,
increaseorreducethefineimposedbytheCommission.
JudgmentsoftheGeneralCourtcanbeappealedbeforetheEuropeanCourtofJustice(ECJ)bytheunsuccessfulparty(sotheCommissioncan
alsobeanappellant).However,theseappealstotheECJarelimitedtoquestionsoflawonly.

Settlement
Incartelcases,theCommissionorthepartiesmayproposeasettlement.TheCommissionmayrejectthesettlementrouteforcasesthatare
notsuitable.Insettlementcases,thepartiesacknowledgeupfronttheirparticipationinthecartel,resultinginaspeedierprocedureandanupto
10%reductioninthefines.TheCommissionpresentspartieswiththeevidenceandnotifiesthemofitsconclusionsastoduration,seriousness,
liabilityandlikelyfine.Thepartiesmustmakeanoralorwrittensubmissionacknowledgingtheirliabilityandstatingthattheyacceptthe
Commission'sstatementofobjections.ThesettlementprocedureallowstheCommissiontoadoptafaster,morestreamlineddecisionandto
allocateresourcestoothercases.

Victims'claimsfordamages
AnycitizenorbusinesswhichsuffersharmasaresultofabreachoftheEUcompetitionrulesisentitledtoclaimcompensationfromtheparty
whocausedit.Thismeansthatthevictimsofcompetitionlawinfringementscanbringanactionfordamagesbeforethenationalcourts.Ifthe
Commissionhastakenaprohibitiondecisionregardingtheinfringement,thisdecisioncanbeusedbeforenationalcourtstoprovethatthe
behaviourtookplaceandwasillegal.

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/procedures_101_en.html

2/2