ARTICLE : EUROPEAN COMMISSION - DIRECT SETTLEMENT PROCEDURE - CARTEL CASES - COMPANIES - INVESTIGATION - COOPERATION - EFFICIENCY - NEGOTIATION - STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS - FINES - ARTICLES 7 - 23 EC COUNCIL REGULATION 1/2003

EC antitrust direct settlement proceeedings: An EC point of view

The European Commission proposes to set a settlement procedure to enable itself (with the parties’ agreement) to simplify the ordinary procedure in appropriate cartel cases. Companies subject to an investigation and convinced that the Commission can prove their involvement in a cartel on the basis of evidence in the investigation file, may be interested in a faster procedure and a reduction of the fine for their cooperation to procedural efficiency. This cooperation implies that the parties concerned acknowledge their involvement in the cartel. In the course of the settlement procedure, the right of the parties to be heard is guaranteed. The settlement procedure does not imply any negotiation or bargaining about evidence, objections or fines. The Commission will always adopt a decision establishing the infringement and imposing fines, up to the standard required by Articles 7 and 23 of Council Regulation 1/2003. Within the current institutional and legal framework, the Commission proposes an original system which is different from other existing settlement regimes.*

* The views expressed in this article are strictly personal to the authors and can not bind the European Commission.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. In autumn 2007, the European Commission adopted a draft Notice on settlement procedures in cartel cases (hereafter the Notice) and a draft amendment to Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 of 7 April 2004 relating to the conduct of proceedings by the Commission pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (hereafter the Regulation). Both drafts were submitted for public consultation on 26 October 2007. 2. Drawing on its long decision-making practice in the antitrust field, the Commission has come to the conclusion that, in cases where the demonstration of the infringement is not substantially contested, the Commission could agree with the

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Eric Cuziat, María Luisa Tierno Centella, EC antitrust direct settlement proceeedings: An EC point of view, May 2008, Concurrences N° 2-2008, Art. N° 16189, pp. 76-83

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