Pros and cons of settlement in competition Law

Dinner organized by Concurrences and Clifford Chance. Keynote speaker was Chairman Bruno Lasserre (Autorité de la Concurrence).


Patrick Hubert

In the event of litigation before a competition authority, is it preferable to negotiate or to defend oneself? Several emblematic cases, particularly at Community level, illustrate the importance of this question of procedural strategy. In the current Google case, the Commission examined three proposals for commitments before finally sending a Statement of Objections to the company. When Microsoft was suspected of tying the sale of its operating system to the sale of its browser, the negotiations may have resulted in commitments being made binding. But not all companies choose to cooperate. For example, Intel, which was fined a record €1.06 billion by the Commission in 2009 following a complaint by AMD, did not seek to negotiate commitments.

It is therefore essential for companies to have a good understanding of all the issues at stake in commitment procedures, and we are privileged to welcome Mr Lasserre to discuss these issues freely, mainly, of course, in the context of proceedings before the Competition Authority.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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