The purpose of this paper is to study the reception of concepts and principles of criminal law, like the non bis in idem principle and recidivism, in EU and French antitrust law. Antitrust authorities and courts are reluctant towards the non bis in idem principle, which could prevent an efficient action against the main anticompetitive practices. However, on the other side, they are ready to use the concept of recidivism with lighter conditions than in criminal law.
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1. While the oldest branch of competition law, the law on anti-competitive practices, is a criminal matter within the meaning of Article 6 ECHR , the sanctions, including fines, are administrative in nature. In Community law, the solution affirmed in 1962 in Article 15(1) of Regulation No 17/62 was justified by the absence of Community competence in criminal matters. Since this fundamental fact has not yet been changed, Article 23(1) of Regulation No 1/2003, which entered into force on 1 May 2004, merely reaffirms the principle . This model was followed when the Order of 1 December 1986 was adopted. At the time, the "decriminalisation" of competition