INTERNATIONAL: BELGIUM - REFORM - ECONOMIC LAW - SETTLEMENT - LENIENCY - ECN+ DIRECTIVE

Belgium: The new Book IV of the Code of Economic Law – Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in competition law rules

An Act of 2 May 2019 replaced the entire Book IV of the Code of Economic Law containing the Belgian rules of competition law. Nevertheless, content-wise, the changes are rather limited. The most important changes concern the confidentiality of documents, the improvement of the position of the settlement applicants as well as that of defendants in interim proceedings, and the introduction of new grounds to terminate investigations. In addition, the possibility of granting leniency for infringements of Article 101 TFEU is introduced, and rules relating to maximum fines and merger thresholds are amended. While the new Book IV includes a number of desired changes to the Belgian competition rules introduced in 2013, it is somewhat disappointing that the Belgian legislator did not seize the opportunity to fully transpose the ECN+ Directive and to integrate all provisions of the Act of 3 April 2019 relating to economic dependence.

I. Introduction 1. The Act of 3 April 2013, introducing Book IV of the Code of Economic Law [1] dramatically changed the structure of the Belgian Competition Authority (hereinafter: “BCA”) [2] as well as of the proceedings before it. Up until the entry into force of the Act of 3 April 2013, the BCA had a dualistic structure: the investigation of potential infringements and notified mergers was the task of the Investigation and Prosecution Service, assisted by staff members of the General Directorate for Competition of the Federal Government Service for Economic Affairs. At the end of the investigation, the competition prosecutor submitted a reasoned report of the investigation to the Competition Council, a court that was both as to its functionality and to its composition completely

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers

Already Subscribed? Sign-in

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers.

Read one article for free

Sign-up to read this article for free and discover our services.

 

PDF Version

Author

Quotation

Caroline Cauffman, Belgium: The new Book IV of the Code of Economic Law – Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in competition law rules, February 2020, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 92532

Visites 438

All reviews