Chapter 4: Evaluation of evidence by the European Courts in competition cases
The evaluation of evidence is crucial in determining the outcome of competition cases brought before the Courts of the European Union. The present chapter reviews the rules governing the burden of proof, the standard of proof and the standard of review applied by the EU Courts, following which an overview is given, based on relevant case law, of how evidence is evaluated by the Courts in competition cases. The evaluation of evidence is crucial in determining the outcome of competition cases brought before the EU Courts. To mention only cartels, which make up most of the competition law caseload in Luxembourg, the pleas and arguments raised by the parties usually require an extensive analysis of the evidence contained in the Commission’s case file. Although one might have expected, due to the success of the Commission’s leniency programme, that the evaluation of evidence would become less important in cartel litigation before the Courts, this has not been the case. On the one hand, a number of infringements are still being fiercely contested on the merits. On the other hand, even where an infringement is not contested as such, an in-depth review of the evidence in the case file may be required when reviewing the legality of the fine. This chapter provides a brief overview of the way the EU Courts evaluate evidence in competition cases.
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