IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bre/polbrf/809.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Commitments or prohibition? The EU antitrust dilemma

Author

Listed:
  • Mario Mariniello

Abstract

The issue - Excluding cartels, most investigations into suspected infringements of European Union competition law are resolved with ‘commitment decisions’. The European Commission drops the case in exchange for a commitment from the company under investigation to implement measures to stop the presumed anti-competitive behaviour. Commitment decisions are considered speedier than formal sanctions (prohibition decisions) in restoring normal competitive market conditions. They have a cost, however - commitments are voluntary and are unlikely to be subject to judicial review. This reduces the European Commission’s incentive to build a robust case. Because commitment decisions do not establish any legal precedent, they provide for little guidance on the interpretation of the law. Policy challenge - The European Commission relies increasingly on commitment decisions. More transparency on the substance of allegations, and the establishment of a higher number of legal precedents, are however necessary. This applies in particular to cases that tackle antitrust issues in new areas, such as markets for digital goods, in which companies might find it difficult to assess if a certain behaviour constitutes a violation of competition rules. To ensure greater transparency and mitigate some of the drawbacks of commitment decisions, while retaining their main benefits, the full detail of the objections addressed by the European Commission to defendants should be published.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Mariniello, 2014. "Commitments or prohibition? The EU antitrust dilemma," Policy Briefs 809, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:polbrf:809
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://bruegel.org/wp-content/uploads/imported/publications/pb_2014_01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. GAUTIER, Axel & PETIT, Nicolas, 2014. "Optimal enforcement of competition policy : the commitments procedure under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers 2014063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bre:polbrf:809. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruegel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bruegbe.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.