PUBLIC ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT - ARTICLE 9 OF REGULATION 1/2003 - COMMITMENTS - SETTLEMENTS - FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF DEFENCE

The use of settlements in public antitrust enforcement: Objectives and principles

This paper discusses two general questions concerning the use of settlements in public antitrust enforcement, namely under which conditions the use of settlements contributes to optimal antitrust enforcement, and under which conditions self-incrimination and waivers of procedural rights by settlement candidates are compatible with fundamental rights of defence. The discussion of these general questions will be illustrated with the specific example of the two settlement procedures for the enforcement by the European Commission of the antitrust prohibitions contained in Articles 81 and 82 EC, namely the commitment procedure under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003, and the new settlement procedure in cartel cases.

I. Introduction 1. Settlements as opposed to the fully adversarial disposal of cases 1. This paper discusses two general questions concerning the use of settlements in public antitrust enforcement, namely under which conditions the use of settlements contributes to optimal antitrust enforcement, and under which conditions self-incrimination and waivers of procedural rights by settlement candidates are compatible with fundamental rights of defence. The discussion of these general questions will be illustrated with the specific example of the enforcement by the European Commission of the antitrust prohibitions contained in Articles 81 and 82 EC. [1] 2. The notion of settlement can best be understood in contrast with the normal, fully adversarial disposal of cases. [2] 3. As to

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  • King’s College (London)

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Wouter Wils, The use of settlements in public antitrust enforcement: Objectives and principles, September 2008, Concurrences N° 3-2008, Art. N° 34940, www.concurrences.com

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