ARTICLES: EUROPEAN UNION - COOPERATION - UNILATERAL PRACTICES – ESSENTIAL FACILITY – DIVESTITURE - RECYCLING – CAUSALITY

Cooperation with the European Commission in antitrust cases: A new way paved by the ARA case

The recently adopted ARA decision opens a new avenue for more cooperation in antitrust cases. In this decision, the Commission established an infringement, imposed a fine and structural remedies while at the same time acknowledging ARA’s cooperation in the procedure and reducing the fine as a reward for this cooperation. This approach fills a gap in the framework for cooperation, creating a sui generis process, distinct from the cooperation in cartel cases and from the commitment process. Starting from the ARA case, the article reflects on how a framework for the application of such a cooperative approach could appear more broad-based and how this fits into the Commission’s Fining Guidelines.

I. Introduction 1. In September 2016, the European Commission adopted a prohibition decision against the Austrian waste management company ARA. [1] The Commission established an infringement, imposed a fine and structural remedies while at the same time acknowledging ARA’s cooperation in the procedure and reducing the fine as a reward for this cooperation. The decision in the ARA case follows public statements made by Commissioner Vestager [2] on her willingness to foster cooperation by the parties in antitrust investigations, in particular in order to improve the timeliness of enforcement. 2. It follows the trend of the recent years that have seen the development of procedures based on the parties’ cooperation in antitrust [3] and cartels. In cartel cases, rewarding the parties’

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Céline Gauer, Johannes Lübking, Cooperation with the European Commission in antitrust cases: A new way paved by the ARA case, February 2017, Concurrences N° 1-2017, Art. N° 83454, pp. 81-87

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