Negotiated competition proceedings: Accessory or alternative to sanctions? Let the reason prevail!

Competition law is subject to a dual pseudo-contradictory movement. On the one hand, it hardens as competition authorities pronounce increasingly severe sanctions. On the other hand, it becomes more flexible, as authoritarian intervention methods leave room for methods that involve active participation of sued companies. These methods, sometimes designated as "negotiated procedures" or "procedures accessory or alternative to sanctions", are worth observing. They have many virtues, both from the point of view of competition authorities, whose action becomes more efficient, and from the point of view of economic operators, who are thus held more responsible but whose sanctions can also, under some conditions, be reduced or cancelled. However, these procedures can have setbacks: they lead to a loss of values, contribute to the devitalisation of the area and can harm procedural rights of the parties. Therefore, it is vital to keep a watchful eye on these methods.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. Competition law is a traditionally repressive law. Its purpose is to combat the behaviour of companies that distort competition, including cartels that are extremely damaging to the community, and the competition [1] authorities have weapons of detection and deterrence that have little equivalent in other areas. While injunctions can be formidable for companies [2], fines [3] remain the most emblematic sanctions. In recent years there has been a noticeable shift towards ever more severe penalties, which in the most serious cases can amount to several hundred million euros [4]or even more than one billion euros [5]. 2. Nevertheless, it is known that, in

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