ARTICLES: SANCTIONS - NEGOTIATED PROCEDURES - ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES - ACCESSORY PROCEDURES

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.

1. Le droit de la concurrence est un droit traditionnellement répressif. Ayant vocation à lutter contre les comportements d’entreprises qui faussent le jeu de la concurrence, parmi lesquels les cartels extrêmement préjudiciables à la collectivité, les autorités de concurrence [1] disposent en effet d’armes de détection et de dissuasion qui ont peu d’équivalent dans les autres matières. Si les injonctions prononcées peuvent s’avérer redoutables pour les entreprises [2], les amendes [3] demeurent les sanctions les plus emblématiques. Ces dernières années ont marqué un infléchissement remarqué vers des sanctions toujours plus sévères, pouvant s’élever dans les cas les plus graves à plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros [4], voire dépasser le milliard d’euros [5]. 2. On sait néanmoins que, depuis quelques

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  • University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas

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Emmanuelle Claudel, Negotiated competition proceedings: Accessory or alternative to sanctions? Let the reason prevail!, December 2015, Concurrences Review N° 4-2015, Art. N° 75897, pp. 61-83

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