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Francisco Enrique González Díaz opened the dinner by recalling that this year is the 10th year’s anniversary of Cecilio Madero as Deputy-General for antitrust within the DG COMP. Cecilio Madero’s legacy in the field of antitrust is tremendous: the last ten years have witnessed an escalation in fines, an increase in the use of commitments, and the development of strong competition policy towards the digital.
KEYNOTE SPEECH BY CECILIO MADERO
Cecilio Madero opened his speech by laying down an overview of what has been achieved by the Commission over the first mandate of Ms Vestager. Fifty antitrust decisions were adopted, half of them dealing with cartels. This is a great achievement, he said, given the complexity of the investigations, the need to fully preserve due process and the challenges the Commission faces before the General Court and the Court of Justice. The number of decisions issued in the field of antitrust shows Ms Vestager’s will to ensure an efficient way of dealing with relevant antitrust cases. The Commission also imposed almost 20 billion euros of fines, with over 8 billion sanctioning cartels. The Commission has formally rejected over thirty complaints, which implies an important workload. In addition, a framework of cooperation outside cartels has been established (with the ARA decision in 2016 as the first example of it). This allows firms to cooperate with the Commission in exchange for simpler, faster procedures and a significant reduction in fines. This new procedure has been successful on antitrust cases other than cartels, with 10 decisions already adopted in cooperation with parties (eg. for consumer electronics, credit cards, the energy sector…).