INTERNATIONAL: EUROPEAN UNION - COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT - CRIMINALISATION - SANCTIONS - EFFICIENCY

EU: The criminalisation of competition law breaches - Another attempt to square the circle?

This article explores the mechanisms that some Member States of the European Union have put in place to criminalise the enforcement of competition law. It highlights the rationale behind the criminalisation of competition law breaches in those few European countries that have chosen to implement it. It accounts for the limitations that this policy faces and the impact it has on the efficient sanction of market conducts that are inconsistent with the requirements of free and fair competition within the single market. A particular emphasis is placed on the approaches adopted by the British and Irish national competition authorities which provide two archetypical, yet competing approaches to the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in the European Union.

I. Introduction

1. The criminalisation of competition law breaches denotes the criminal proceedings that national competition authorities may launch against individuals who have agreed on market divisions or quantity restrictions which have had for their effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within a market (i.e., hardcore cartels). Currently, few EU Member States criminalise competition law breaches. While the objectives of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration that criminal law embodies deserve praise in that they afford (i) the sanction of advantages improperly taken or unfair detriment inflicted upon other undertakings, and (ii) reparation, through state authority, of competition harms caused to others operating within a single market, the criminalisation of competition law breaches faces two major obstacles questioning its efficacy and desirability. The first relates to the limited ability of criminal law to produce the desired or intended result for want of proof of intent to hamper competition. Hence the limited success of criminal proceedings launched to sanction hardcore cartelists in some countries. Meanwhile, the second obstacle that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement faces concerns the juxtaposition that it entails of two competing sanctions systems. Regulatory or administrative sanctions imposed by national competition authorities without intervention by a court or tribunal, on the one hand, and criminal sanctions imposed by courts or tribunals to provide incentives for obedience with the law or with rules and regulations, on the other. As a result, the criminalisation of competition law breaches appears to fall foul of one of the most basic principles of justice: the prohibition of double jeopardy, also known as ne bis in idem.

2. Against the foregoing background, this paper examines the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in those few EU Member States that apply it. It focuses primarily on the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. They provide two very typical—yet competing—illustrations of the criminal enforcement of competition law breaches within the European Union (II). The comparison of these two regimes will lead to the exploration of the limitations that they face particularly regarding the inadequacy of the test used, the issues of competence, and the gainsaying of the principle whereby, by general rule, a defendant shall not be prosecuted twice on the basis of the same offence, act or facts (III).

II. The criminalisation of competition law breaches

1. A European overview

3. Article 23(5) of Regulation No. 1/2003 is the main dictum guiding the enforcement of the European competition policy under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, formerly Articles 81 and 82 EC. It laid the foundations of the promotion and maintenance of fair competition in markets. It is implemented through public enforcement within the territory of the Union against undertakings or associations of undertakings.

4. While the Regulation provides that the sanction of competition law breaches “shall not be of a criminal law nature,” Recital 8 of the same Regulation does not disallow the criminalisation of competition law breaches and the introduction of derogating measures extending the sanction to natural persons under domestic law “except to the extent that such sanctions are the means whereby competition rules applying to undertakings are enforced.” Looking across the legal systems of the EU Member States, it appears that the prohibition of practices tending to suppress economic competition is a principle to which few controvert. It is established by a resolute set of laws governing what is acceptable business practice. [1] The criminalisation of competition law breaches does not, however, command support from all Member States. While all concur that competition law breaches can be sanctioned administratively through a system of penalties imposed by a regulator established by them in the form of a competition authority without intervention by a court or tribunal, they are few those who support the action of turning competition breaches into a criminal offence by making it illegal. Even then arises an irreducible difference in opinions and interests between those states for whom competition law breaches are tantamount to a crime in and of themselves, and those states who limit the criminalisation of competition breaches to specific offences restrictedly described by law. So much is illustrated by the examples of Bulgaria, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, [2] and Latvia, [3] where competition law enforcement is only administrative in nature as opposed to Luxembourg, [4] Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy, [5] Belgium [6] and Croatia, [7] where the standard administrative procedure is paired with a criminal sanction intended for individuals who have committed specific offences proscribed by law such as bid-rigging. Added to these are those countries that narrow down, significantly, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement to specific instances of breach where it can be found that the practice that hindered competition was also accompanied by reprovable acts assimilable to fraud or undue influence (dolus) [8] (e.g. France [9] and Romania [10]) or even thievery (e.g. Czechia [11] and Slovakia). [12] Lastly, there are those for whom any competition breach is tantamount to a criminal offence in and of itself, e.g., Ireland, [13] United Kingdom, [14] Estonia, [15] Denmark, [16] Greece, [17] and Slovenia. [18] The attending consequence is immediately graspable. Namely, while the criminalisation of competition law enforcement is seldom likely to be successful in those countries that have chosen to subject the criminalisation of competition law breaches to a strict test of criminality requiring proof of fraud or intent to deceive that may not always be met easily (e.g., Slovakia, [19] Greece [20], France, [21] and Romania), [22] the unrelenting criminalisation of every competition breach applied in Ireland, United Kingdom, Estonia, [23] Denmark, [24] Greece, [25] and Slovenia [26] denies the rogue an easily loophole to avoid criminal liability even absent proof of mens rea. This, in turn, introduces unfairness in the enforcement of competition law since a wrongdoer can be criminally sanctioned absent the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime. By contrast, the sanction of the actual action or conduct of the accused that others have chosen to sanction civilly or criminally subject to proof of fraud or intentionality seems to be an appropriate measure taken to prevent injustice and unfairness. The study of the limitations that the criminalisation of competition enforcement faces must, however, be prefaced by the examination of the rationale that actuated its sedimentation in those countries that have opted for it.

5. For reasons of space and clarity, the examination of the rationale behind the outright criminalisation of competition law breaches will focus on the instances of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It will leave out the criminalisation of competition law enforcement pursuant to non-cooperation with or disobedience to the rulings of any national or European competition authority.

2. The criminalisation of competition law enforcement in the United Kingdom

6. Beside the administrative sanction of undertakings or associations of undertakings for abuse of dominance, monopolies, and other forms of anticompetitive practice liable to fetter competition by preventing, restricting or distorting the free play of the market without any objective reasons consistently with Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, Sections 188 and subsequent of the Enterprise Act 2002 [27] sanction individuals who have “dishonestly agree[d] with one or more other persons to make or implement, or to cause to be made or implemented, [cartel] arrangements (…) relating to at least two undertakings.

7. This is achieved by the award of an advantage to the claimant or aggrieved competitor and the sentencing of convicted or indicted defendants to a term of imprisonment of up to five years or a fine as appropriate. [28] In turn, undertakings are subject only to administrative sanctions without intervention by a court or tribunal [29] given their special nature and their insusceptibility to be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. This, in turn, precludes any European interference into UK affairs. To counterbalance the effects of a policy that so generally sanctions every arrangement between individuals that has for its object or effect the distortion of competition even absent intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime for it is likely to resolve into nothing more than a brilliant mistake whose sudden flash resembles that of a thunderbolt which strikes the very spot it illuminates by hindering the free play of the market, HM Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills introduced a requirement for dishonesty tantamount to a requirement for actus reus or mens rea. The rationale was “to ensure that the offence did not apply to agreements that would be lawful under the Civil antitrust prohibitions (…) to reduce the likelihood that conviction would depend on judgments taken on detailed economic evidence (…) to provide juries with a test that they would recognise and to signal the seriousness of the offence and correspondingly weighty penalties—so as to enable the offence to have maximum deterrent effect. [30]

8. The attending consequence of the introduction of this test of dishonesty is that it curtails the circumstances in which an undertaking and its executives can be prosecuted for joining together to fix prices, limit production or share markets or customers between them. Consequently, the Office of Fair Trading was only able to launch five criminal proceedings [31] between 2002 and 2014, that is, between the moment when the Enterprise Act 2002 came into force and its supersession by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2014. These resulted in four cases being dismissed for insufficient evidence [32] including one by the Court of Appeal [33] while the fifth case resolved alone in a served custodial sentence. [34] The decision of the criminal division of the appellate court in R v. George, Burns, Burnett and Crawley and Regina v. Peter Whittle, Bryan Allison, David Brammar is particularly interesting in that the defendants pleaded nolo contendere in both instances as part of a plea bargain conceded by the US Department of Justice to allow them to be taken into custody and adjudged by the relevant British competition authorities rather than the American. [35] It is all the more interesting than the failure of the Office of Fair Trading to disclose potentially relevant material to the defendants in the case of R v. George, Burns, Burnett and Crawley constituted a plea in bar that not only prevented the case from being heard, but also defeated the whole purpose of the plea bargain under which the defendant had agreed to escape the yoke of the US competition authorities only to be tried under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. Specifically, the Office of Fair Trading was estopped from taking the defendants to trial because, acting both as judge and jury in breach of the most basic principle of justice whereby nemo judex in causa sua, “much of the evidence [that it] brought against the defendants had been provided by the only other party to the alleged cartel (…), an immunity applicant with strong incentives to confess, and perhaps even exaggerate. [36]

9. In response to that and following the supersession of the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2014, [37] HM Government, disgruntled that its policies were kept in check by the courts, showed strength in repealing the reasonableness or rather dishonesty test [38] that it had introduced. The reason given was to improve the enforceability of the spirit of the policy and increase deterrence. Otherwise, the whole purpose of the policy would have been defeated given the determination of what is honest behaviour is a difficult test to meet in a business environment. [39]

3. The criminalisation of competition law breaches in the Republic of Ireland

10. The criminalisation of competition law enforcement in the Republic of Ireland dates back to the Oireachtas’ adoption of the Irish Competition Amendment Act 1996. Like the UK Enterprise Act 2002, the Irish Competition Amendment Act subjects cartelists to criminal liability if they are found to have contrived an arrangement incompatible with an applicable competition policy. [40] However, the Irish and British competition policies do not coincide in all respects. While the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in the UK is an additional procedure intended to individuals that derogates from the general procedure whereby decisions taken by undertakings or associations of undertakings that have for their object or effect the distortion of competition are sanctioned administratively absent any intervention from a court or tribunal, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in Éire under the Irish Competition Amendment Act merges the European policy with the Irish competition policy. The latter subjects all competition breaches to criminal liability. These mixed objectives coalesce to ensure that competition is not restricted or undermined in ways that are detrimental to the economy and society. The inadequacy of the act to deter and sanction anticompetitive practices given the limited competence of the Irish Competition Authority in investigating cartels, the conflicts of jurisdictions between competent authorities, and the inefficacy of the sentences passed in deterring cartel practices soon questioned its ability to produce the desired or intended result. [41] This shortfall was, however, overcome by the Oireachtas’ and Rialtas na hÉirean’s adoption of the Irish Competition Act 2002. The latter actuated an appreciable change consisting in the increase of the penalties that the Competition Amendment Act 1996 provided, the creation of a single competition authority vested with more powers, [42] and the aggravation of the sanctions that convicted cartelists could incur under Articles 4 to 8 of the Irish Competition Act 2002. This resulted in six domestic cartel prosecutions consisting of two unsuccessful trials [43] and four successful prosecutions resulting, in turn, in nine suspended custodial sentences paired with the imposition of a mulct, three suspended custodial sentences absent any mulct, the imposition of twenty-four fines, and three acquittals. [44]

11. Offhand, the Irish criminalisation of competition law enforcement seems more successful than its UK counterpart regarding the number of convictions enforced considering its more modest economy. But the effectivity of a policy is not measured by the number of decisions rendered under it but by the enforceability and meaningfulness of the sanctions imposed. In this context, it is clear that the Irish instance of criminalisation of competition law breaches is perhaps not that successful. It is mostly limited to domestic instances of breach and, thus, fails to apprehend international anticompetitive practices that hinder competition. Besides, it has only given cause to the sanction of six domestic undertakings since its implementation in 2002. In turn they were subject to ridiculously small or inadequate fines. Meanwhile, the number of sanction taken again individuals that were effectively served remained scarce. [45] More, while the UK Enterprise Act 2002 was designed to prevent the EU from meddling with the enforcement of the UK competition policy, the Irish Competition Act 2002 takes to the word Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Consistently, unlike the UK Enterprise Act 2002, the Irish Competition Act 2002 also accounts for vertical agreements and the cases of abuse of dominance which the UK Enterprise Act 2002 animadvert questionably. Accordingly, legal and natural persons are subject to the same penalty system whereas HM Government has opted, by contrast, for two competing sanctions systems applicable either to undertakings or individuals restrictively.

12. Last but not least, the Irish Constitution vesting the Irish courts only with the authority to adjudicate on competition breaches and impose ad hoc fines, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is only competent to investigate civil cases and competition misdemeanours as opposed to crimes that are regarded as more serious and punishable under the criminal law of Ireland. [46] This is in stark relief to what was customary practice under the Office of Fair Trading which, until its dissolution in 2013, acted both as judge and jury in contravention of the principle nemo judex in causa sua. The differences between the UK and Irish competition policies should not detract, however, from the legal and moral limitations that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement faces in both these countries and beyond within the European Union.

III. Critique

13. Amongst the twenty-eight Member States of the European Union – soon to be twenty-seven after the United Kingdom’s eventual withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020 – only ten Member States criminalise the enforcement of competition law whether the offence is established by the mere breach of a competition rule or must be accompanied by the demonstration of the violation of a criminal rule requiring the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime. In either case, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement is subject to practical, competency, and moral limitations indicative of reluctance or failures which must be explored in turn.

1. Inadequacy of the test

14. Irrespective of whether the criminalisation of competition law enforcement operates upon the mere breach of a competition rule or provided it is also paired with another conduct reprovable under the domestic criminal provisions applicable, there is a lack of consensus in both instances as to the nature of the breach that can be incriminated. While some argue that any association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition constitutes an offence punishable under criminal law (e.g., United Kingdom), others argue that not only cartels should be sanctioned, but also every vertical arrangement between undertakings or association of undertakings that has for its effect the distortion of competition (e.g., Ireland).

15. Likewise, doctrinists bicker over whether natural persons should also fall under the yoke of penal sanction or should be protected by the corporate veil, thereby arguing as to whether the imposition of a mulct onto a convicted undertaking is sufficient to instil deterrence not only vis-à-vis undertakings but also vis-à-vis their directors. One of the most common arguments proffered is notably that the incriminated arrangements at stake are not made by the undertakings sanctioned which, although they have legal personality, lack the attributes of personhood allowing human beings to act. More so, the sanction of the undertaking only penalises stakeholders, not liable decision-makers given the real beneficiary of the arrangement is seldom the corporation but rather the natural persons who constitute it and obtain, thereby, significant indirect benefits such as higher wages, severance pay, stock options, bonuses, improved career prospects and suchlike. The inadequacy of the test that consists essentially in identifying who made the arrangement fettering competition instead of identifying and sanctioning the conduct of the real beneficiaries who contrived this arrangement culminates in the well-known “principle-agent problem” [47] which begets harmful effects.

16. In fact, fined undertakings could either leave their consumers [48] or/and employees [49] pick up the pieces by making them bear the “cost of doing business” [50] or worse face bankruptcy. This, in turn, defeats the whole purpose of competition law enforcement. [51] The latter aims to protect consumers notably by ensuring their access to differentiated products and brands while protecting the free play of the market. However, the extension of the penalty system imposed upon undertakings to natural persons faces an irreducible difficulty in that what may appear to be a ridiculous mulct to a company may be more significant to a natural person [52] whose inability to settle up the fine defeats the whole purpose of the sanction if it cannot be enforced. More still, if the individual who comes up with the funds is repaid by the convicted undertaking ex ante or ex post [53] or is covered by an insurance policy [54] protecting against this possible eventuality. [55] Perhaps a better way to instil deterrence while sanctioning the real beneficiary and persons responsible for the arrangement would be to sentence them to custodial sentences. After all, criminal convictions are nothing else but the expression of public and social opprobrium [56] which, combined with the threat of imprisonment and the constitution of a criminal record upon which society places significant weight, “could especially deter white-collar workers [57] and draw public attention [58] to the seriousness of the crime” [59] at the behest of the lawmaker [60] as proceeding from a thoughtful self-reflection and balance between the benefits accruable under an arrangement and the consequences that might be suffered if caught. [61] This, in turn, might cause a decrease in cartel activity as evidenced by the criminalisation of antitrust enforcement in the US. It correlates with an increase in the efficiency of the criminalisation of antitrust enforcement [62] and the deterrence of global cartels from expanding their activity to the US. [63]

17. Despite the prevailing circumstances, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement faces many criticisms whose examination is not undeserving. In fact, it is questionable whether the violation of the duty not to hamper “free and fair competition” on the European market is such an important legally protected interest (Rechtsgut) that it must be sanctioned by such an infamous punishment as imprisonment, the German jurisprudence argues. [64] The main rationale behind criminalisation is that criminal sanctions can help decrease crime through deterrence, penalty, rehabilitation, and incapacitation. Variable according to the philosophical, political, social, and cultural ideologies prevailing in a given society, these universal justifications for criminal sanctions are not exempt from unintended consequences that may beget failures and have a dreadful impact on offenders, offenders’ families, and communities. It is notably so when individuals and undertakings are punished absent the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime or else when undertakings and individuals can elude liability (Strafwürdigkeit) either because the arrangement only hindered competition indirectly or because the violation of a primary legal interest other than free and fair competition cannot be established [65] such as fraud [66] or theft. [67]

18. Another criticism is that the action of turning competition law breaches into a criminal offence by making it illegal as the last possible means of sanctioning competition law breaches is disproportionate. The reason is that criminalisation inflicts an infamous penalty on convicts while its aims (i.e., deterrence, penalty, rehabilitation, and incapacitation) are already and can be better achieved by a combination of civil [68] and administrative [69] sanctions capable of operating as sufficient deterrent (e.g., forfeiture, dismissal, incapacitation, and suchlike). Another reason is that the efficacy of the criminalisation of competition law enforcement to deter individuals and undertakings or associations of undertakings from hampering the free play of the market is not at all established contrary to what the US competition authorities argue. The statistics often presented rely more on intuition and personal perceptions than they do on empirical evidence. [70] In fact, the figures often showed and manipulated do not prove a correlation between the criminalisation of competition law breaches [71] and the decrease in the number of cartels operating on the American market construed as more effective than other types of sanction such as civil or administrative penalties. [72] The number of cartel arrangements on the American market remains particularly high despite the high number of prosecutions. [73] While the criminalisation of competition law enforcement on either side of the Atlantic cannot be equated given that enormous differences persist between the US and the European approaches [74] – whose examination is not the purpose of this paper – the US example reveals the mistaken and simplistic belief that so generally consists in propounding that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement deters more efficiently individuals and undertakings or associations of undertakings from constituting cartel arrangements. It is notably so since its underpinnings are dubious. The same applies to the thought whereby the decrease of anti-cartel sanctions correlates undeniably with the criminalisation of competition law enforcement. The paucity or large number of criminal sanctions imposed can never be a telltale of the effectivity of a policy, especially as a number of cartels may remain inconspicuous.

19. Besides, the lack of public support for the criminalisation of competition law enforcement [75] defeats the whole purpose of criminalisation which consists in punishing conducts whereby individuals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others, and balancing the scales on behalf of society. As such, the resort to criminalisation may result from legal bigotry and overcautiousness [76] and must be reconsidered all the more so since it is not always possible to identify, deftly, who the instigators of the breach are [77] and even less so to prove their personal misconduct as individuals. It is notably so given undertakings resort to ever more sly dissimulation techniques [78] and strict “internal cartel discipline and punishment” to leave themselves a way out while committing other criminal offences in the same breath such as personal threats against leniency applicants, whistle-blowers, judges, and prosecutors. [79] More so, the indeterminacy of the nature of the offence sanctionable under criminal law (i.e. vertical agreements or/and horizontal agreements) is also a source of great legal uncertainty [80] that promotes further the rejection of the criminalisation of competition law enforcement.

20. Further, it is reasonable to doubt the validity of the statistical analyses promoting the effectiveness of criminalisation in curtailing cartels and bringing benefits to the consumer. The benefits of crime reduction obtained through retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration strategies do not outweigh the costs of them for society given their increase of public costs. This is poorly compensated by insufficient fines [81] whose amount and enforceability depend, moreover, on the system of ideas and ideals that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy in a given jurisdiction. [82]

21. Moreover, the criminalisation of competition law breaches is inevitably a source of legal and procedural problems since it juxtaposes two different systems of sanctions. Criminal law, on the one hand, and competition law, on the other. While the former aims to sanction harms caused to society on its behalf, the latter purports to sanction economic harms caused to businesses and restricted segments of society. Leaving aside for now the issues of compatibility of the criminalisation of competition law breaches with the European competition policy and the infringement of the general rule whereby one should not be prosecuted or punished twice for the same conduct under different penalty systems, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement within national jurisdictions raises the following procedural problem. First, it is unclear who has competence between the national competition authority and the national prosecution services to investigate and sanction alleged breaches of competition. [83] Second, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement defeats the domestic and European leniency programmes which become meaningless since undertakings that have participated in illegal cartels will be less likely to self-report a cartel to avoid or reduce a fine if they remain liable to a criminal sanction that is worse still than the mere payment of a mulct.

22. By contrast, a more inclusive leniency programme [84] accounting for both the criminal and civil sanctions to which individuals and undertakings may be liable [85] would be far more efficacious to fight cartels than cooperation between national competition authorities. [86] It is so given the disparities between Member States regarding the sanction of practices fettering competition and the discrepancies between the standards of proof required to sanction illegal cartels. But, in turn, the juxtaposition of criminal law and civil law and the equation of criminal and civil procedure that the criminalisation of competition law enforcements abets have the potential to (i) lengthen proceedings regarding the demonstration of liability and culpability under two different evidence systems, (ii) increase trial costs, and (iii) obfuscate the clear-cut distinction between criminal procedure and civil and administrative procedure, thus rendering less efficient the enforcement of competition law. [87]

23. Regardless, the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in those European countries that have chosen to sanction it results from a long-term benefit analysis [88] contingent on their admitted bias for a system of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration as opposed to a system of civil or administrative wrongs purporting to award compensation of injury rather than to inflict punishment. [89]

2. Issues of competence

24. Beyond the inadequacy of the test applied and its implications, another objection to the criminalisation of competition law enforcement is its inconsistency with the European competition policy. Articles 101, 102, and 103 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union do not criminalise competition law breaches but merely provide for administrative sanctions through a system of fines and periodic penalty payments. Consequently, some commentators argue that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement in those Member States that have opted for it is inconsistent with the European competition policy and shall be proscribed excepting where the breach falls foul of a domestic competition rule that falls within the scope of Article 3 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty. [90] This argument is, however, untenable since Article 3(2) of the Council Regulation does entitle Member States to adopt and apply “on their territory stricter national laws which prohibit or sanction unilateral conduct engaged in by undertakings” without proscribing the subjection of individuals to custodial sentences Articles 5 and 12(3) of the Council Regulation 1/2003 [91] providing that “The competition authorities of the Member States shall have the power to apply Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty in individual cases. For this purpose, acting on their own initiative or on a complaint, they may take the following decisions:

  • requiring that an infringement be brought to an end,
  • ordering interim measures,
  • accepting commitments,
  • imposing fines, periodic penalty payments or any other penalty provided for in their national law.

Where on the basis of the information in their possession the conditions for prohibition are not met, they may likewise decide that there are no grounds for action on their part.

(…)

Information exchanged pursuant to paragraph 1 can only be used in evidence to impose sanctions on natural persons (…).”

25. Differently, the Office of Fair Trading contended in the case of the United Kingdom that [92]The cartel offence under the Enterprise Act and Article 81 [EC] and the Chapter I prohibition are aimed at different legal persons. The cartel offence is aimed at dishonest activity by individuals whereas Article 81 and the Chapter I prohibition are aimed at anti-competitive activity by undertakings. The Modernisation Regulation does not apply to national laws which impose criminal sanctions on natural persons, except to the extent that such sanctions are the means whereby competition rules applying to undertakings are enforced. The OFT considers that the cartel offence is not a means whereby competition rules applying to undertakings are enforced. (…) The OFT, therefore, considers that the investigation or prosecution of an individual under the cartel offence would not require the OFT to apply Article 81 as well.”

26. Ceteris paribus, the Office of Fair Trading’s distinction between the criminalisation of competition law enforcement –applicable to natural persons under the UK Enterprise Act (2002) – and the provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Community – which sanctions competition breaches committed by undertakings only – countered the criticisms whereby the criminalisation of competition law enforcement is incompatible with the European competition policy. Thus, it affirmed the autonomy and complementarity of domestic competition policies with the European competition policy. [93] Famously sustained by the Court of Appeal in the case of IB v. The Queen, [94] the court upheld the opinion whereby the criminalisation of competition law enforcement under Section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 is “an ancillary law which bolsters the effectiveness of competition rules but is not concerned with directly enforcing them against undertakings.” [95]

27. Despite the prevailing circumstances, the jurisprudence of the appellate court and the Office of Fair Trading based on Recital 8 of Regulation 1/2003 remains inconsistent with Article 3(8) of the said regulation. Section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 purports less to criminalise competition law breaches committed by natural persons than it purports to criminalise generally any practice inconsistent with the UK competition policy and, a fortiori, inconsistent with the European competition policy irrespective of whether the offence was committed by an undertaking or association of undertakings or a natural person. [96] The latter statement must, however, be mitigated. Inconsistent with Articles 101, 102, and 103 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, this jurisprudence is not, however, incompatible with the European competition policy fair and square. At most, it means that the Competition and Markets Authority must apply the EU competition policy alongside Section 188 and subsequent of the Enterprise Act 2002. The reason is that the UK competition authorities are under duty to cooperate with the European Commission under the terms laid down under Articles 11 to 16 of Council Regulation 1/2003; [97] at least so long as the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union.

3. The prohibition of double jeopardy (ne bis in idem) or the struggle of the criminalisation of competition law enforcement

28. The criminalisation of competition law enforcement and the juxtaposition of three antinomic sanctions system that it actuates (i.e. criminal, civil, and administrative) discredit the legality of this approach. It is so given its inconsistency with the principle whereby, by general rule, no legal action can be instituted twice for the same cause of action against the same party or between the same parties for the same offence, act or facts. [98] The principle includes, however, serious mitigation. [99] Article 4(1) of Protocol 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) provides, for instance, that [100]:

1. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again in criminal proceedings under the jurisdiction of the same State for an offence for which he has already been finally acquitted or convicted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of that State.

2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not prevent the reopening of the case in accordance with the law and penal procedure of the State concerned, if there is evidence of new or newly discovered facts, or if there has been a fundamental defect in the previous proceedings, which could affect the outcome of the case.

3. No derogation from this Article shall be made under Article 15 of the Convention.

29. Consistently, Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2002) covers four scenarios. First, the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence within the same jurisdiction means that when the European Commission or the European Court of Justice imposes a sanction on an undertaking or group of undertakings at the European level, Member States cannot sanction the same undertaking or group of undertakings anew. Second, the prohibition of double jeopardy means that when a party or parties have already been convicted under the jurisdiction of a Member State, the Union cannot sanction then anew for breach. Third, when several states exercise jurisdiction simultaneously for breaches that hamper competition within the single market, each Member State is barred from sanctioning breaches for which an undertaking or group of undertakings has already been sanctioned in another jurisdiction. Finally, when a national competition authority has already sanctioned an undertaking or group of undertakings, all other domestic competition authorities are barred from exercising jurisdiction to sanction the same undertaking or group of undertakings once again. [101] However, the safety net that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2002) implements only finds to apply when Member States apply the European competition policy [102] in line with Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2002). [103] Thus, it leaves parties that have been tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence within the same or in a different jurisdiction without recourse in the absence of national mechanisms preventing double jeopardy which is doubtful. The same holds true when the jurisdiction in breach of the principle was not implementing Union law but domestic law but to resort to the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) for compensation.

30. To avoid such throes, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a new test in Åklagaren v. Hans Åkerberg Fransson (2011). The court recognised in its decision its competence to sanction, but also overrule, decisions rendered by national jurisdictions whenever there is a direct link between the domestic law applied with European law. The reason provided is that Member States are under duty to comply with the requirements flowing from the fundamental rights guaranteed in the legal order of the European Union. [104] Thereby, there is evidence to suggest that the European Court of Justice could undo decisions subjecting individuals, undertakings, and groups of undertakings to sanctions that are criminal, civil, and administrative in nature given the direct link between the domestic competition policies of Member States and the European competition policy whose objectives they must observe. [105] In turn, this means that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement can only be realised if the penalty is only criminal in nature and unaccompanied by other types of sanctions such as administrative or civil sanctions. This raises doubts regarding the nature of the fines imposed given the imposition of fines is not the exclusive preserve of criminal law but is also an attribute of civil and administrative law. In this respect, the European Court of Human Rights [106] ruled in A. Menarini Diagnostics S.r.l. v. Italy that a fine imposed under a domestic competition policy is deemed criminal if “The very nature of the offence is a factor of greater import. (…) Such supervision would generally prove to be illusory if it did not also take into consideration the degree of severity of the penalty that the person concerned risks incurring. In a society subscribing to the rule of law, there belong to the ‘criminal’ sphere deprivations of liberty liable to be imposed as a punishment, except those which by their nature, duration or manner of execution cannot be appreciably detrimental. The seriousness of what is at stake, the traditions of the Contracting States and the importance attached by the Convention to respect for the physical liberty of the person all require that this should be so.”

31. Consistent with its decision in Engel and others v. The Netherlands, [107] the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights contrasts with Article 23(3) of Council Regulation 1/2003 whereby the decisions that the Commission takes shall not be of a criminal law nature. The scope of the provision has, however, no significance since national competition authorities can impose criminal sanctions whose consistency with the European competition policy is assessed under Article 52(3) which provides that “In so far as this Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the said Convention. This provision shall not prevent Union law providing more extensive protection.”

32. This, in turn, is consistent with the ruling of the European Court of Justice in Menarini, in which the court acknowledged the possibility to impose a criminal sanction on undertakings infringing a competition policy, thereby ascertaining a test for the determination of the criminality of a sanction. While Advocates General Sharpston and Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer share this view, thus acknowledging the possibility for the Commission to impose criminal sanctions upon unruly undertakings, [108] the European Court of Justice has yet to make an explicit decision in this sense although it has already recognised, implicitly, that the fines imposed by the Commission have a quasi-criminal nature, [109] thus departing from its previous jurisprudence. [110] Under these circumstances, the principle ne bis in idem only finds to apply vertically and horizontally at the European level to undertakings, that is, when an undertaking or association of undertakings has already been sanctioned in one or several states for offences, acts or facts arising from identical or substantially similar circumstances “which constitute a set of concrete [but different] factual circumstances involving the same defendant and [are] inextricably linked together in time and space.” [111] It is only so, however, as long as the undertaking is not a sham, is individually owned, and does not have a distinct personality. [112] This concerns the cases where its directors have only been sanctioned under domestic law unless the law in question established “separate stand-alone criminal offence” paired with additional requirements [113] distinct from those of Articles 101 and 102. The aim is to “ensure that a different set of concrete factual circumstances surrounding the cartel [and] relevant to [both] the criminalisation of competition law breaches and the administrative sanction of breach” that Articles 101 and 102 provide do not remain unsanctioned. [114] Hence, Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2002) adds a requirement for the identity “of the legal interest protected.” [115]

33. Contrary to what had been the practice heretofore, [116] the European and national competition authorities today share the same interest, that is, the maintenance of a free and fair competition throughout the single market. [117] It reduces the likelihood of being tried again on the same or similar offences following a valid acquittal or conviction. This will not be controverted by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union next January. This safeguard to the prevention of double jeopardy falls apart, however, if no penalty has been imposed, if it has not been enforced, is not actually in the process of being enforced or can still be enforced under the laws of the sentencing Member State under Article 54 of the Schengen Convention. [118] In such cases, the rule that Article 52(3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2002) sanctions indirectly on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) [119] whereby nobody can be tried twice for the same offence no longer applies. In turn, this means that if a penalty has been imposed, has been enforced, is actually in the process of being enforced or can no longer be enforced under the laws of the sentencing state, another Member State – and a fortiori the Union – cannot arraign the same undertaking or group of undertakings for the same offence, act, or facts. [120] The efficacy of the measure is, however, contingent upon good communication within the European Competition Network. National competition authorities are not, currently, under any obligation [121] to communicate with one another and even less so with the European Commission given the criminalisation of competition law is not explicitly covered by the European competition policy. It is something that must be remedied if the prohibition of double jeopardy is to produce the intended effect.

IV. Conclusion

34. Regardless of whether the criminalisation of competition law enforcement requires the breach of a legally protected interest (Rechtsgut) other than competition as illustrated by the cases of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany or France, it is clear that the criminalisation of competition breaches is underperforming and faces many obstacles. These arise from the juxtaposition of three competing sanctions system, namely, criminal law, administrative law, and competition law sanctioned under civil law. More so, it raises questions as to the consistency of the domestic rules that criminalise the enforcement of competition law with the European competition policy which, pace the European Court of Justice, does not explicitly acknowledge the criminalisation of competition law breaches although it recognises their unlawfulness. This, in turn, raises issues as to the consistency of the criminalisation of competition law enforcement with the essential foundations of justice, especially the observance of the ne bis in idem doctrine whereby an accused person cannot be tried twice on the same (or similar) charges and on the same facts, following a valid acquittal or conviction.

35. Inevitably, the enforcement of the European competition policy becomes more complex just like the equation of competing penalty systems subject to different standards of proof creates a situation in which there is a danger of failure of the European competition policy. It is notably so since the great discrepancies between the enforcement of competition law breaches within the EU preclude those countries that criminalise the enforcement of competition law from benefiting from information exchanged between national competition authorities as of right. The reason is that Article 12(3) of Regulation 1/2003 subjects the request of information from another national competition authority to two conditions. First, where “the law of the transmitting authority foresees sanctions of a similar kind in relation to an infringement of Article 81 or Article 82 of the Treaty.” Second, “in the absence thereof, [provided] the information has been collected in a way which respects the same level of protection of the rights of defence of natural persons as provided for under the national rules of the receiving authority.” However, in the latter case, “the information exchanged cannot be used by the receiving authority to impose custodial sanctions [against natural persons].” [122]

36. Accordingly, the freedom that Member States have to govern themselves or control their own affairs, the usual diatribe and leitmotiv of the United Kingdom, raises serious concerns as to the fairness and equitability of the enforcement of competition law within the European Union. [123] This may even result in criminal “forum shopping.” [124]

37. While some advocate for the harmonisation of competition law enforcement within the Union to remedy these risks, [125] the requirement of unanimity that the Treaty of Lisbon imposes for its revision [126] suggests that such proposal is pie in the sky if not dilettante and airy-fairy. It is so given the apodictic lack of consensus that the criminalisation of competition law enforcement faces within the very disunited European Union [127] particularly at the time of Brexit.

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Gewerbeordnung (German Industrial Code) § 35.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), Article 14(7).

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Joined cases C-55/07 and C-56/07 – Othmar Michaeler, Subito GmbH and Ruth Volgger v. Amt für sozialen Arbeitsschutz and Autonome Provinz Bozen [2008], Opinion of Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer ECR I-3135, para. 156.

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Regina v. Peter Whittle, Bryan Allison, David Brammar [2008] EWCA Crim 2560.

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Regulatory provisions

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Biermann, J., Neubestimmung des deutschen und europäischen Kartellsanktionenrechts: Reformüberlegungen, Determinanten und Perspektiven einer Kriminalisierung von Verstößen gegen das Kartellrecht (2007), Zeitschrift für Wettbewerbsrecht, Vol. 1, pp. 1–48.

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Gilbert, P., Changes to the UK Cartel Offence—Be Careful What You Wish For (2015), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Vol. 6, Issue 3, pp. 192–196.

Jones, A., Williams, R., The UK Response to the Global Effort Against Cartels: Is Criminalisation Really the Solution? (2014), Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 100–125.

Jones, K., Harrison, F., Criminal Sanctions: An Overview of EU and national case law (2014), e-Competitions Bulletin, Art. No. 64713, pp. 1–10.

Klees, A., Der Grundsatz ne bis in idem und seine Auswirkungen auf die Zusammenarbeit der Kartellbehörden im European Competition Network (ECN) (2006), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, Vol. 56, pp. 1222–1230.

König, P., Neues Strafrecht gegen die Korruption (1997), Juristische Runschau, pp. 397– 404.

Lande, R. H., Davis, J. P., Comparative Deterrence from Private Enforcement and Criminal Enforcement of the U.S. Antitrust Laws (2010), BYU Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 315–387.

Marquier, J., Soltész, U., Hält “doppelt bestraft” wirklich besser? – Der ne bis in idem-Grundsatz im Europäischen Netzwerk der Kartellbehörden (2006), Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht, Vol. 17, pp. 102–107.

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Posner, R. A., Optimal Sentences for White-Collar Criminals (1980), American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 409–418.

Roskis, D., Quelles sanctions pénales pour les dirigeants ? (2015), Échanges internationaux, Magazine du Comité français de la Chambre de commerce internationale, No. 102, p. 21.

Schlößer, C., Strafrechtliche Sanktionen bei Wettbewerbsverstößen im internationalen Vergleich (2016), Kölner Schrift zum Wirtschaftsrecht, Vol. 7, Issue 4, pp. 294–299.

Stephan, A., Four key challenges to the successful criminalization of cartel laws (2014), Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 333–362.

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Textbooks

Calvani, T., Cartel penalties and damages in Ireland: Criminalization and the case for custodial sentences, in Cseres, K. J., Schinkel, M. P., Vogelaar, F. O. W., Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement: Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States (2006), pp. 270–289.

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Dannecker, G., Der strafrechtliche Schutz des Wettbewerbs: Notwendigkeit und Grenzen einer Kriminalisiering von Kartellrechtsverstößen, in Sieber, U., Tiedemann, K., Strafrecht und Wirtschaftsstrafrecht. Festschrift für Klaus Tiedemann zum 70. Geburtstag (2008), pp. 789–815.

Furse, M., The Criminal Law of Competition in the UK and in the US – Failure and Success (2012).

Jones, A., Sufrin, B., EU Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials (2016), 6th edition.

Meyer-Lindemann, H. J., Loewenheim, U., Meessen, K., Riesenkampff, A., Kersting, C., Kartellrecht, Kommentar (2016), 3rd edition.

Reindl, A. P., How Strong is the Case for Criminal Sanctions in Cartel Cases?, in Cseres, K. J., Schinkel, M. P., Vogelaar, F. O. W., Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement: Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States (2006), pp. 110–132.

Wils, W. P. J., Is Criminalization of EU Competition Law the Answer?, in Cseres, K. J., Schinkel, M. P., Vogelaar, F. O. W., Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement: Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States (2006), pp. 60–109.

Other

A&L Goodbody, Ireland’s New Competition and Consumer Protection Law: Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, A guide by A&L Goodbody (2014).

De Fauw, J., Wellens, V., Peeters, P., Speyart, H., Belgian Competition Authority Publishes Guide on Bid Rigging (2017).

Footnotes

[1See, for instance, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Articles 101–106.

[2K. Cseres, Relationship between EU Competition Law and national competition laws, in I. Lianos, D. Geradin, Handbook on European Competition Law: Enforcement and Procedure (2013), pp. 539–557.

[3International Competition Network, Anti-Cartel Enforcement Template, Latvian Competition Agency (2013) at [2.E], accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.kp.gov.lv/oldfiles/23/dazadi%2Ficn_latvia_cartel_template.pdf.

[4W. P. J. Wils, Is Criminalization of EU Competition Law the Answer? in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar, Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement: Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States (2006), pp. 60–75.

[5K. Cseres, in I. Lianos, D. Geradin (2013), pp. 539–557; K. Jones, F. Harrison, Criminal Sanctions: An overview of EU and national case law (2014), e-Competitions Bulletin, Art. No. 64713, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at http://awa2015.concurrences.com/IMG/pdf/keith_jones.pdf.

[6J. De Fauw, V. Wellens, P. Peeters, H. Speyart, Belgian Competition Authority Publishes Guide on Bid Rigging (2017), Lexology, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8c950d2f-ecad-49f5-84cb-80735544fb9c.

[7International Competition Network, Anti-Cartel Enforcement Template, Croatian Competition Agency (2017) at [2.E.], accessed on 23 August 2019, available at http://www.aztn.hr/ea/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Cartel_Template-2017RH2.pdf.

[8K. Jones, F. Harrison (2014), Art. No. 64713 cited above.

[10Lege nr. 21 din 10 aprilie 1996, A concurenţei – Republicare, Articol 60 (Romanian Competition Law No. 21/1996, Article 60), accessed on 23 August 2019, available in French, Romanian and English respectively at http://www.consiliulconcurentei.ro/uploads/docs/items/bucket8/id8047/lege_nr21_1996_actualizata_20160303.pdf and http://www.consiliulconcurentei.ro/en/official-documents/competition/legislation/competition-law-21-1996.html.

[11Trestní zákoník, § 248 (Czech Criminal Code, Article 248), accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Czech and English respectively at http://www.trestnizakonik.cz/cast-II/hlava-6/dil-3 and https://www.legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes/country/35/Czech%20Republic/show.

[12Trestný zákon, § 250 (Slovak Criminal Code, Article 250), accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Czech, Slovak and English respectively at https://www.zakonypreludi.sk/zz/2005-300 and https://www.legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes/country/4/Slovakia/show.

[13See below section II.3.

[14See below section II.2.

[15Karistusseadustik (Estonian Penal Code) 2001, § 400, accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Estonian and English at https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/522012015002/consolide.

[16Konkurrenceloven Lovbekendtgørelse nr. 869 af 8. juli 2015 (The Danish Competition Act (Consolidation Act No. 869 of 8 July 2015), Kapitel (Chapter) 8, § 23, accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Danish and English respectively at https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/r0710.aspx?id=199825#id2c2e1a30-7ef3-4109-9e49-92f2eb5e06b6 and https://www.en.kfst.dk/media/1351/competition-act-8692015.pdf.

[17Νομοσ υπ΄ αριθμ. 3959 φεκ α΄93/20.4.2011, Άρθρο 44 (Law 3959/2011 prohibiting the abuse of dominance of 20 April 2011, Article 44), accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Greek and English respectively at https://www.kodiko.gr/nomologia/document_navigation/59552/nomos-3959-2011 and https://www.scribd.com/document/249168797/Law-3959-2011.

[18Kazenskizakonik, 225. člen (Slovenian Penal Code) 2008, accessed on 23 August 2019, available in Slovenian and English respectively at https://www.uradni-list.si/glasilo-uradni-list-rs/vsebina?urlurid=20082296 and https://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/si/si045en.pdf.

[19Cited above, note 12.

[20M. Furse, The Criminal Law of Competition in the UK and in the US – Failure and Success (2012), p. 167.

[21D. Roskis, Quelles sanctions pénales pour les dirigeants? (2015), Échanges internationaux, Magazine du Comité français de la Chambre de commerce internationale, No. 102, p. 21, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjeq9_syJnkAhU-UhUIHQU0C7kQFjAAegQIAhAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eversheds-sutherland.com%2Fdocuments%2Fglobal%2Ffrance%2FDan_roskis_article_cropped.PDF&usg=AOvVaw1nsfaCjsYyWfV7sOFnGcCZ.

[22OECD, Competition Law and Policy in Romania (2014), p. 26, accessed on 23 August 2019, available in English, French, and Romanian at http://www.oecd.org/competition/competition-law-and-policy-in-romania.htm.

[23Cited above, note 15.

[24Cited above, note 16.

[25Cited above, note 17.

[26Cited above, note 18.

[27Contra Enterprise Act 2002 original as enacted, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/40/part/6/enacted.

[28Enterprise Act (2002) s. 190.

[29A. Stephan, Four key challenges to the successful criminalization of cartel laws (2014), Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 333–334.

[30HM Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills, A competition regime for growth: A consultation on options for reform (2011), para. 6.8–6.10., accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31411/11-657-competition-regime-for-growth-consultation.pdf.

[31For further information see the Competition and Markets Authority cases accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases?keywords=&case_type%5B%5D=criminal-cartels&closed_date%5Bfrom%5D=&closed_date%5Bto%5D.

[32Same as above.

[33R v. George, Burns, Burnett and Crawley [2010] Lloyd’s Rep. FC 495.

[34Regina v. Peter Whittle, Bryan Allison, David Brammar [2008] EWCA Crim 2560.

[35Same as above, para. 23, 25–28.

[36P. Gilbert, Changes to the UK Cartel Offence—Be Careful What You Wish For (2015), Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Vol. 6, Issue 3, pp. 192–193.

[37Competition and Market Authority cases, Supply of galvanised steel tanks for water storage: criminal investigation (2014–2015) and Supply of precast concrete drainage products: criminal investigation (2013–2017), accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases?keywords=&case_type%5B%5D=criminal-cartels&closed_date%5Bfrom%5D=&closed_date%5Bto%5D.

[38Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2013) s. 47.

[39HM Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills, Growth, Competition and the Competition Regime–Government Response to Consultation (2012), para. 7.7. and 7.8., accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192722/12-512-growth-and-competition-regime-government-response.pdf.

[40Competition Amendment Act 1996.

[41P. Massey, Criminal Sanctions for Criminal Law: A Review of Irish Experience (2004), The Competition Law Review, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 23–27.

[42A&L Goodbody, Ireland’s New Competition and Consumer Protection Law: Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, A guide by A&L Goodbody (2014), pp. 3–13, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.algoodbody.com/media/ALGoodbodyGuideIrelandsNewCompetitionandConsumerProtectionLaw1.pdf.

[43M. Furse (2012), p. 177.

[44Competition and Consumer Protection Commission cases, Commercial Flooring Cartel Conviction (2002–2003), Members of Home Heating Oil Cartel convicted of price fixing (2001–2012), Members of Citroën Dealers Association cartel convicted of price fixing (2007–2008), and Ford Dealer cartel conviction (2004–2017), accessed on 23 August 2019, available at https://www.ccpc.ie/business/enforcement/criminal-enforcement/criminal-court-cases.

[45M. Furse (2012), pp. 169, 176–178, 186–187.

[46P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–25.

[47P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; T. Calvani, Cartel penalties and damages in Ireland: Criminalization and the case for custodial sentences, in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270–273; OECD, Cartel Sanctions against Individuals (2003), p. 17; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60–80.

[48T. Calvani in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270–273; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60–81.

[49W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60–81.

[50P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31.

[51P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; F. Wagner-von Papp, Kriminalisierung von Kartellen (2010), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, Vol. 60, pp. 268–272; J. Biermann, Neubestimmung des deutschen und europäischen Kartellsanktionenrechts: Reformüberlegungen, Determinanten und Perspektiven einer Kriminalisierung von Verstößen gegen das Kartellrecht (2007), Zeitschrift für Wettbewerbsrecht, Vol. 1, p. 14; P. Whelan, A Principled Argument for Personal Criminal Sanctions as Punishment Under EC Cartel Law (2007), The Competition Law Review, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pp. 7, 31–32.

[52T. Calvani in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270–273; OECD (2003), p. 17; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60–80.

[53P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; OECD (2003), p. 17; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 85–86; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1–14.

[54Monopolkommission Deutschland, Eine Wettbewerbsordnung für die Finanzmärkte (2012/2013), Zwanzigstes Hauptgutachten der Monopolkommission, gemäß § 44 Abs. 1 Satz 1 GWB, p. 96, para. 153.

[55P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; T. Calvani in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270–273; Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), p. 96, para. 152; OECD (2003), p. 17.

[56Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), pp. 97, 99, para. 156, 160; OECD (2003), p. 18; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 84, 86; F. Wagner-von Papp (2010), pp. 268, 272; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1–17; P. Whelan (2007), pp. 7, 30, 33.

[57P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), p. 97, para. 156; OECD (2003), p. 18; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 84; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1, 17–18.

[58P. Massey (2004), pp. 23–31; T. Calvani in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270, 271, 276; HM Government’s Department of Trade and Industry, A World Class Competition Regime (2001), Annex A, at A3.2; P. Whelan, Cartel Criminalization and the Challenge of “Moral Wrongfulness” (2013), Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 33, Issue 3, pp. 535, 544–550.

[59K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1–9; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1–18.

[60F. Wagner-von Papp (2010), pp. 268, 274–275.

[61P. Massey (2004), pp. 23, 33; K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1–7.

[62T. Calvani in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 270, 274–275; P. Whelan (2007), pp. 7, 33–34.

[63US Department of Justice, Cornerstones of an Effective Leniency Program (2004).

[64P. König, Neues Strafrecht gegen die Korruption (1997), Juristische Runschau, pp. 397, 402.

[65A. Bräunig, Wider die Strafbarkeit von “Hardcore-Kartellen” de lege ferenda (2011), Höchstrichterliche Rechtsprechung zum Strafrecht, pp. 425, 429–432.

[66See, for instance, Code de commerce (French Commercial Code), Article L. 420-6, cited above, and Lege nr. 21 din 10 aprilie 1996, A concurenţei – Republicare, Articol 60 (Romanian Competition Law No. 21/1996, Article 60), cited above.

[67Trestní zákoník, § 248 (Czech Criminal Code, Article 248), cited above, and Trestný zákon, § 250 (Slovak Criminal Code, Article 250), cited above.

[68Gewerbeordnung (German Industrial Code) § 35.

[69C. Schlößer, Strafrechtliche Sanktionen bei Wettbewerbsverstößen im internationalen Vergleich (2016), Kölner Schrift zum Wirtschaftsrecht, Vol. 7, Issue 4, pp. 294–295, 298–299.

[70A. P. Reindl, How Strong is the Case for Criminal Sanctions in Cartel Cases?, in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 116.

[71R. H. Lande, J. P. Davis, Comparative Deterrence from Private Enforcement and Criminal Enforcement of the U.S. Antitrust Laws (2010), BYU Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 315–387; M. Dreher, Wider die Kriminalisierung des Kartellrechts (2011), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, Vol. 61, pp. 232, 238.

[72C. Schlößer (2016), pp. 294, 298; F. Wagner-von Papp (2010), pp. 268, 273 note 39; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 117.

[73C. Schlößer (2016), pp. 294, 298; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 117.

[74M. Dreher (2011), pp. 232, 238; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 118–119.

[75A. Stephan, Survey of Public Attitudes to Price-Fixing and Cartel Enforcement in Britain (2008), CCP Working Paper 07-12, pp. 2–31; C. Beaton-Wells, C. Parker, Justifying Criminal Sanctions for Cartel Conduct: A Hard Case (2013), Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 198–219.

[76K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 10; F. Wagner-von Papp (2010), pp. 268, 277; M. Dreher (2011), pp. 232, 241.

[77K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 9.

[78OECD (2003), p. 22; K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), p. 1.

[79K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 11, 12.

[80M. Dreher (2011), pp. 232, 241.

[81R. A. Posner, Optimal Sentences for White-Collar Criminals (1980), American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 17, pp. 409–418; OECD (2003), p. 21.

[82K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 10.

[83OECD (2003), pp. 23–24.

[84Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), pp. 104–105, para. 179–181.

[85OECD (2003), p. 9; F. Wagner-von Papp (2010), pp. 69, 275–276; C. Schlößer (2016), pp. 294, 298; K. Cseres in I. Lianos, D. Geradin (2013), pp. 519, 558 et seq.; Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), pp. 103–104, para. 175–178; J. Biermann (2007). pp. 1, 45–46.

[86C. Schlößer (2016), pp. 294, 296–297.

[87K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 11; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 123–124; OECD (2003), pp. 21–22, 25; P. Whelan, Cartel criminalisation and Due Process: The Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions Within EU (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 158–163.

[88K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 11; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 115.

[89OECD (2003), pp. 21–22.

[90W. Frenz, Ausreichendes Kartellbußgeldsystem – keine Notwendigkeit von Haftstrafen (2014), Wettbewerb in Recht und Praxis, Issue 4, pp. 367, 372.

[91W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 70; M. Furse (2012), p. 121; Monopolkommission Deutschland (2012/2013), p. 88, para. 126; K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 1, 15; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1, 20; A. Stephan (2014), pp. 333, 354; P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 145–146; P. Massey (2004), pp. 23, 33.

[92Office of Fair Trading, Modernisation – Understanding Competition Law (2004), p. 13, para. 4.21–4.22, accessed on 23 August 2019, available at http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284432/oft442.pdf.

[93A. Jones, R. Williams, The UK response to the Global Effort Against Cartels: Is Criminalisation Really the Solution? (2014), Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 100, 119.

[94IB v. The Queen [2009] EWCA Crim 2575, para. 35.

[95Ibid., para. 30.

[96M. Furse (2012), pp. 124–125; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 73–74; A. Stephan (2014), pp. 333, 356.

[97A. Stephan (2014), pp. 333, 357; M. Furse (2012), pp. 122.

[98Schengen Convention (1995), Article 54; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), Article 14, para. 7.

[99Treaty on European Union (1992), Article 6, para. 2; European Convention of Human Rights (1953), Article 59, para. 2.

[100European Convention of Human Rights (1953), Article 4.

[101P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 156; T. Streinz, “Ne bis in idem” bei Sanktionen nach deutschem und europäischem Kartellrecht (2009), Juristische Ausbildung, Vol. 31, Issue 6, pp. 412, 414–419; A. Klees, Der Grundsatz ne bis in idem und seine Auswirkungen auf die Zusammenarbeit der Kartellbehörden im European Competition Network (ECN) (2006), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, Vol. 56, pp. 1222–1230; Explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights OJ C 303, 14.12.2007, pp. 17, 31.

[102Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Preamble, at 5; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Article 51; Explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights OJ C 303, 14.12.2007, pp. 17, 32.

[103P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 155.

[104Case C‑617/10 Åklagaren v. Hans Åkerberg Fransson [2013] ECLI:EU:C:2013:105.

[105H. J. Meyer-Lindemann, U. Loewenheim, K. Meessen, A. Riesenkampff, C. Kersting, Kartellrecht, Kommentar (2016), 3rd edition, § 81 GWB, para. 139; T. Streinz (2009), pp. 412, 417; U. Soltész, J. Marquier, Hält “doppelt bestraft” wirklich besser? – Der ne bis in idem-Grundsatz im Europäischen Netzwerk der Kartellbehörden (2006), Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht, Vol. 17, pp. 102–103, 105.

[106A. Menarini Diagnostics S.r.l. v. Italy (merits and just satisfaction), No. 43509/08, §§ 6, 6-1, para. 38–45. See also Société Stenuit v. France (merits) No. 11598/85, A232-A, at [62]; Jussila v. Finland (merits) No 73053/01, §§ 6 and 6-1, ECHR 2006-996, at [38] to [44].

[107Engel and others v. The Netherlands (1976), No. 5100/71, 5101/71, 5102/71, 5354/72, 5370/72, §§ 5, 6, ECLI:CE:ECHR:1976:0608JUD000510071, No. 5100/71, 5101/71, 5102/71, 5354/72, 5370/72, at [82].

[108Case C-272/09 P – KME Germany AG, KME France SAS and KME Italy SpA v. European Commission [2011], Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston, ECLI:EU:C:2011:63, para. 63–64; joined cases C-201/09 P and C-216/09 P – ArcelorMittal Luxembourg SA v. European Commission and European Commission v ArcelorMittal Luxembourg SA and Others [2010] ECR I-2239, para. 48–52; joined cases C-55/07 and C-56/07 – Othmar Michaeler, Subito GmbH and Ruth Volgger v. Amt für sozialen Arbeitsschutz and Autonome Provinz Bozen [2008], Opinion of Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, ECR I-3135, para. 156.

[109Joined cases C-238/99 P, C-244/99 P, C-245/99 P, C-247/99 P, C-250/99 P to C-252/99 P and C-254/99 P – Limburgse Vinyl Maatschappij NV (LVM), DSM NV and DSM Kunststoffen BV, Montedison SpA, Elf Atochem SA, Degussa AG, Enichem SpA, Wacker-Chemie GmbH and Hoechst AG and Imperial Chemical Industries plc (ICI) v. Commission of the European Communities [2002] ECR I-8375.

[110Case 14–68 – Walt Wilhelm and others v. Bundeskartellamt [1969] ECLI:EU:C:1969:4.

[111Zolotukhin v. Russia (merits and just satisfaction) [GC], No. 14939/03, § 41, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2009:0210JUD001493903.

[112P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 155; Treaty on European Union (1992), Article 299.

[113See, for instance, Code de commerce (French Commercial Code), Article L. 420-6, cited above, and Trestní zákoník, § 248 (Czech Criminal Code, Article 248), cited above.

[114P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 156.

[115Joined cases C-204/00 P, C-205/00 P, C-211/00 P, C-213/00 P, C-217/00 P and C-219/00 P – Aalborg Portland A/S, Irish Cement Ltd, Ciments français SA, Italcementi – Fabbriche Riunite Cemento SpA, Buzzi Unicem SpA and Cementir – Cementerie del Tirreno SpA v. Commission of the European Communities [2004] I-123.

[116Joined cases C-204/00 P, C-205/00 P, C-211/00 P, C-213/00 P, C-217/00 P and C-219/00 P – Aalborg Portland A/S, Irish Cement Ltd, Ciments français SA, Italcementi – Fabbriche Riunite Cemento SpA, Buzzi Unicem SpA and Cementir - Cementerie del Tirreno SpA v. Commission of the European Communities [2004], Opinion of Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, ECR I-342, para. 91.

[117A. Klees (2006), pp. 1222, 1226, 1230; T. Streinz (2009), pp. 412, 417–419; U. Soltész, J. Marquier (2006), pp. 102–103, 105; H. J. Meyer-Lindemann, U. Loewenheim, K. Meessen, A. Riesenkampff, C. Kersting (2016), para. 139.

[118Case C-17/10 Toshiba Corporation and Others v. Úřad pro ochranu hospodářské soutěže [2011], Opinion of Advocate General Kokott, ECLI:EU:C:2011:552, para. 118; M. Böse, Der Grundsatz “Ne bis in idem” im Wettbewerbsrecht der Gemeinschaft und Art. 54 SDÜ (2007), Europäisches Wirtschafts- und Steurrecht, Vol. 18, pp. 202, 204-205; Case C-467/04 – Criminal proceedings against Giuseppe Francesco Gasparini and Other, Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston, [2006] ECR I-9199, para. 59–63, 101, 155–159; Schengen Convention (1995), Article 54.

[119Case C-17/10 – Toshiba Corporation and Others v. Úřad pro ochranu hospodářské soutěže [2011], Opinion of Advocate General Kokott, ECLI:EU:C:2011:552, para. 115–124; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Article 52, para. 3.

[120P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 156.

[121Ibid., pp. 143, 157–158.

[122K. Cseres in I. Lianos, D. Geradin (2013), pp. 539, 559; J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1, 20–21; W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 90–94.

[123J. Biermann (2007), pp. 1, 20–21; G. Dannecker, Der strafrechtliche Schutz des Wettbewerbs: Notwendigkeit und Grenzen einer Kriminalisiering von Kartellrechtsverstößen, in U. Sieber, K. Tiedemann, Strafrecht und Wirtschaftsstrafrecht. Festschrift für Klaus Tiedemann zum 70. Geburtstag (2008), pp. 789, 806.

[124G. Dannecker in U. Sieber, K. Tiedemann (2008), pp. 789, 806.

[125W. P. J. Wils in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 60, 90–94; G. Dannecker in U. Sieber, K. Tiedemann (2008), pp. 789, 806.

[126P. Whelan (2013), Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 143, 146–147; A. Jones, B. Sufrin, EU Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials (2016), 6th edition, p. 1024.

[127A. Stephan (2014), pp. 333, 359; A. P. Reindl in K. Cseres, M. P. Schinkel, F. O. W. Vogelaar (2006), pp. 110, 125–127.

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