Fines in EU competition cases
Produced in partnership with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
Fines in EU competition cases

The following Competition practice note Produced in partnership with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fines in EU competition cases
  • Step guide to calculation of fines under the Fining Guidelines
  • Applying the 2006 Fining Guidelines
  • Value of sales and determining the basic amount
  • Entry fee deterrence
  • Aggravating circumstances
  • Mitigating circumstances
  • Specific increase for deterrence
  • Legal maximum
  • Paragraph 37 of the 2006 Fining Guidelines
  • More...

The power of the European Commission to impose fines for infringements of EU competition law is an important tool in its enforcement armoury. The 2006 Fining Guidelines are the unique reference point used by the Commission to determine its fines.

As part of its judicial review, the General Court has the authority to exercise unlimited jurisdiction to review whether a fine for competition infringements is fair and proportionate. This means that the General Court has the power to either reduce or increase a penalty that has been set by the Commission using its own guidelines. Hence the General Court is not bound to follow the Commission’s guidelines. However in order to guarantee equal treatment, the General Court will ensure that the 2006 Fining Guidelines are correctly implemented.

The substitution of the 1998 Fining Guidelines by the 2006 version, even if it had the effect of increasing the overall average of the fines imposed, was reasonably foreseeable. Besides, according to the General Court, guarantees in criminal matters enshrined in Articles 6 and 7 of the ECHR and Article 49 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights do not necessarily have to be applied to their full extent in competition law cases. Ultimately, the introduction of the 2006 Fining Guidelines is without prejudice to the only applicable legislation in this matter, ie the rule in Article 23(2) of Regulation

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