Cartel regulation—Belgium—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cartel regulation—Belgium—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the relevant legislation?
  • 2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?
  • 3. Have there been any recent changes, or proposals for change, to the regime?
  • 4. What is the substantive law on cartels in the jurisdiction?
  • 5. To what extent are joint ventures and strategic alliances potentially subject to the cartel laws?
  • 6. Does the law apply to individuals, corporations and other entities?
  • 7. Does the regime apply to conduct that takes place outside the jurisdiction (including indirect sales into the jurisdiction)? If so, on what jurisdictional basis?
  • 8. Is there an exemption or defence for conduct that only affects customers or other parties outside the jurisdiction?
  • 9. Are there any industry-specific infringements? Are there any industry-specific defences or exemptions?
  • More...

Cartel regulation—Belgium—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to cartel regulation in Belgium published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Daldewolf—Pierre Goffinet; Laure Bersou

1. What is the relevant legislation?

In Belgium, cartel prohibition is contained in article IV.1 of the Belgian Code of Economic Law (CEL). The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) rules on cartels that appreciably prevent, restrict or distort competition on a relevant Belgian market or within a substantial part of it. Under Regulation 1/2003, the BCA should also apply article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in cases likely to affect trade between EU member states.

2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?

The BCA is an independent administrative authority with a legal personality. The BCA is directed by a managing board (the Board). The Board is responsible for daily management of the BCA's work, the identification of priorities and management of terms, and the preparation of guidelines in antitrust matters. The Board is composed of a president, a Competition General Prosecutor, a chief economist and a general counsel.

The BCA comprises of the Investigation and Prosecution Service (IPS), a prosecution authority, and a decision-making body,

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