Extraterritorial application of EU competition law
Produced in partnership with Dentons
Extraterritorial application of EU competition law

The following Competition practice note Produced in partnership with Dentons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Extraterritorial application of EU competition law
  • Extraterritorial jurisdiction
  • Single economic entity
  • The implementation doctrine
  • The effects doctrine
  • Impact of the Commission’s jurisdiction on the setting of fines
  • Implications in follow-on antitrust damage claims: the English court case in Iiyama

The European Commission jurisdiction to prosecute antitrust infringements committed outside of the EEA by non-EEA-based undertakings has been the subject of much debate, particularly in light of the Commission’s cartel infringement proceedings in the LCDs and CRTs cases. The issue of extraterritorial reach has also been raised in the context of unilateral conduct, as exemplified in Intel v Commission (see below). Although the EU treaties do not provide specific guidance on the extraterritorial reach of EU competition rules, the Court of Justice has over time devised a number of tests to determine whether, in a given case, the Commission has appropriate jurisdiction.

Extraterritorial jurisdiction

The Court of Justice has developed three doctrines:

  1. the single economic entity doctrine that enables the Commission to assert jurisdiction over the parent company of a subsidiary located and engaged in illegal activity within the EEA

  2. the implementation doctrine that focuses on the extent to which the anti-competitive conduct has been implemented in the EEA, and

  3. the qualified effects doctrine, whereby the Commission needs to show that the conduct had substantial, immediate, and foreseeable effects in the EEA.

Single economic entity

In Dyestuffs, the Court of Justice established that anti-competitive conduct of a subsidiary located in the EU may be attributed to the parent company situated outside the EU, if the latter has the ability to exercise decisive influence over the former, through the

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