The following Competition guidance note Produced in partnership with Dentons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Cartels are considered to be the most pernicious anti-competitive practices under Article 101 TFEU. As such, they are subject to a specific legal regime, which includes, inter alia, specific procedural tools (eg leniency programme and settlements).
Cartels are a major concern for competition authorities: since 2011 the European Commission, for example, has adopted over 30 cartel decisions. However, Article 101 TFEU does not provide a definition of cartels, nor does it make explicit mention of them (likewise with the UK law equivalent, Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998).
Over time, the case law of the EU courts and the decisional practice of the Commission have attempted to provide greater clarity on the notion of what is a cartel and to identify the constitutive elements of a cartel violation.
Article 101 TFEU draws a distinction between:
agreements between undertakings, and
The notion of an agreement implies that the parties adhere to a common plan that limits or is likely to limit their individual commercial conduct by determining how they will act or abstain from acting in the market.
The form of the agreement matters little. Anti-competitive agreements can be written, oral or even the result of a mere 'gentlemen’s agreement':
in the Trucks (AT.39824) [Archived] cartel, the parties held
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Take a free trial
Take a free trial
0330 161 1234