Deterring EU Competition Law Infringements: Are We Using the Right Sanctions?

Promoted content

In a conference organised on 3 December in Brussels, the Tilburg Law & Economics Centre (TILEC) and the Liège Competition Innovation Institute (LCII), prominent academics, regulators and practitioners discussed differing approaches to sanctions in competition law. The high-level full-day conference "Deterring Competition Law Infringements: Are We Using the Right Sanctions" was designed to bring detailed analysis and up-to-date knowledge about emerging trends in optimal deterrence and sanctions. The results contained in these interviews send a signal on the need for a modern approach to cartel sanctioning policies and procedures in order to achieve the EU's stated goal of higher deterrence. 
Competition law regimes across the world have typically relied on a diverse set of sanctions to deter companies from engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. In contrast the EU competition law regime has so far focused on ever increasing levels of corporate fines, stemming to a large extent from the Commission's desire to increase deterrence. 
However, a growing number of voices are questioning whether increasing the level of corporate fines is indeed the most appropriate means for increasing deterrence. Other criticisms of the EU's sanctioning regime allege a high level of uncertainty, raise questions about its compatibility with international instruments protecting due process, criticise its lack of consideration for corporate compliance programs and the quasi-automatic finding of parental liability. A key criticism laments the absence of individual sanctions targeting the individuals who are the perpetrators of an antitrust violation.

Subscribe to our newsletters


Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.