ARTICLES : COMPETITION AUTHORITIES - DISCRETIONARY POWER - INVESTIGATION

How much discretion do, and should, competition authorities enjoy in the course of their enforcement activities? A multi-jurisdictional assessment

La présente étude s’intéresse à la question de l’étendue du pouvoir discrétionnaire détenu par les autorités de concurrence (« AC »), et tente de déterminer si ce pouvoir devrait, ou non, être sujet à limitations. A cette fin, elle passe en revue quatre domaines dans lesquels les AC sont susceptibles d’exercer un pouvoir discrétionnaire, à savoir: politique de détection des infractions, sélection de cibles d’intervention, ouverture d’une procédure d’infraction et mode de résolution d’une procédure. S’appuyant sur les rapports rédigés par 21 experts nationaux en réponse à un questionnaire couvrant 18 ordres juridiques, l’étude formule, en guise de conclusions, quelques recommandations de politique publique.

1. The discretion vested in competition authorities (“CAs”) belongs certainly to the hall of fame of the most researched competition law topics. For several decades, the legal and economic literature has indeed been replete with debates over CAs' discretionary choices in respect of the substantive appraisal of firms' conduct. By contrast, however, the organizational, procedural and institutional dimension of CAs' discretion has garnered much less interest. In this context, the purpose of this study is to assess whether competition agencies do, and in turn should enjoy an unfettered discretionary power in the context of the investigation of competition law infringements or whether their margin of discretion should be subject to certain limits. [1] To this end, it relies on empirical

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  • European University Institute (Florence)

Quotation

Nicolas Petit, How much discretion do, and should, competition authorities enjoy in the course of their enforcement activities? A multi-jurisdictional assessment, February 2010, Concurrences N° 1-2010, Art. N° 30047, pp. 44-62

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