Fees imposed by the Italian Antitrust Authority, although they were increased under the Tesauro chairmanship, still appear to be inadequate for deterring anti-competitive behaviour. Furthermore, the approach followed by the European Commission, which seems to be imitated by the Italian Authority, is flawed on two main counts. First, the European Commission has established a system of fixed basic amounts of sanctions so that they cannot be related to the turnover of the markets affected by anticompetitive conduct. This is at odds with well established economic principles. Secondly, the increase in fines for long-term infringements is very low and lacks any deterring effect. The final part of the article urges Italian Authorities to adopt leniency programs and change the legislation to make it possible to fine the firms which collude through an association (under the present law, only the association can be fined).
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