The compatibility with fundamental rights of the EU antitrust enforcement system in which the European Commission acts both as investigator and as first-instance decision maker

Introduction Under the system initially set up by Regulation 17, [1] and maintained under Regulation 1/2003, [2] the European Commission both investigates suspected infringements of the antitrust prohibitions contained in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and takes decisions finding such infringements, ordering their termination, and imposing fines. The question has been debated for many years whether this system is compatible with fundamental rights, in particular with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which provides that "in the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal" (emphasis added). Already in

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