Table of Contents

Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement

Criminalization of Competition Law Enforcement

Economic and Legal Implications for the EU Member States

Edited by Katalin J. Cseres, Maarten Pieter Schinkel and Floris O.W. Vogelaar

This timely book brings together contributions from prominent scholars and practitioners to the ongoing debate on the criminalization of competition law enforcement. Recognizing that existing remedies and sanctions may be insufficient to deter breaches of competition law, several EU Member States have followed the US example and introduced pecuniary penalties for executives, professional disqualification orders, and even jail sentences. Addressing issues such as unsolved legal puzzles, standard of proof, leniency programs and internal cartel stability, this book is a marker for future policy debate.

Chapter 1: Law and Economics of Criminal Antitrust Enforcement: An Introduction

Katalin J. Cseres, Maarten Pieter Schinkel and Floris O.W. Vogelaar

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law


Katalin J. Cseres, Maarten Pieter Schinkel and Floris O.W. Vogelaar 1 INTRODUCTION Competition laws are set to maintain and protect the competitive process and allow society to reap its fruits in the form of high quality goods and services at low prices. A working competitive process is a precious public benefit that should be safeguarded, as it is well-established that attempts by firms to pervert competition cause greater overall harm than individual gain. When firms charge ‘supra-competitive’ prices and reduce output instead of competing on the market, consumers and economic efficiency will suffer serious damage.1 Therefore, the primary objective of competition law enforcement is to keep market parties from being tempted to collude. It can be met both by facilitating an economic and legal structure that encourages competition and by actively policing the market for those who behave anticompetitively regardless. In particular, competition authorities seek to efficiently deter anticompetitive behaviour through a tuned mix of enforcement mechanisms. In merger control, a trajectory of ex ante assessment and licensing serves to prevent the build-up of undesirable concentrations. Parties report their intentions to merge at their own initiative, as it is unlikely that a major merger consummated without being notified and approved will go unnoticed. Little active policing or sanctioning is required to secure truthful reporting of relevant information in the required formats.2 However, anticompetitive agreements and abuses of dominance escape by their very nature the attention of the competition authorities unless actively detected. Ex post remedies and...