Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary matches the list of keywords used by Concurrences search engine. Each keyword is automatically updated by the most recent EU and national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review. The definitions are excerpt from DG COMP’s Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy (© European Union, 2002) and the OECD’s Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law (© OECD, 1993).

Limitation period

What is the limitation period (if any) from the date of the termination of the infringement by which the investigation / proceedings must begin or a decision on the merits of the case must be made? There are no limitation periods for the investigation and prosecution of cartels. There are limitation periods applying to penalties against cartel participants (Article 25 of Regulation 1/2003): (i) three years in the case of infringements of provisions concerning requests for information or the conduct of inspections; (ii) five years in the case of all other infringements. Time starts to run on the day on which the infringement is committed. However, in case of a continuing or repeated infringement, time shall begin to run on the day on which the infringement ceased. Any action taken by the Commission for the purpose of an investigation shall interrupt the limitation period for the imposition of penalties. The limitation period shall expire at the latest on the day on which a period equal to twice the limitation period has elapsed without the Commission having imposed a penalty.© European Commission