The Development of Competition Law

The Development of Competition Law

Global Perspectives

ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Roger Zäch, Andreas Heinemann and Andreas Kellerhals

This innovative book discusses the global character of competition law focusing on three interrelated perspectives; firstly, the impact of economics on competition policy; secondly, the competition law experience in selected countries (USA, EU, Japan, India, China, Brazil, transition countries) and how the law has adapted to the political, economic, geographic and cultural environment; and thirdly, the process of internationalisation and convergence of competition law.

Chapter 10: Is Criminalisation of EU Competition Law the Answer?

Wouter P.J. Wils

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law


Wouter P.J. Wils* 1 1.1 WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ‘CRIMINALISATION’? No Definition of ‘Criminal’ in EC or EU law Article 23(5) of Regulation No 1/2003,1 the main regulation governing the enforcement of Articles 81 and 82 EC, provides that decisions by which the European Commission imposes fines on undertakings for violations of Articles 81 and 82 EC, or for obstruction of investigations into possible violations, ‘shall not be of a criminal law nature’.2 The last sentence of Recital 8 of the same Regulation says that ‘this Regulation does not apply to national laws which impose criminal sanctions on natural persons except to the extent that such sanctions are the means whereby competition rules applicable to undertakings are enforced’.3 The EU Treaty has a Title VI concerning ‘Provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters’. Article 30(a) EU provides that common action in the field of police co-operation shall include operational co-operation in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of ‘criminal offences’. Article 31 EU provides for common action on judicial * Member of the Legal Service of the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, Visiting Professor at King’s College London. 1 Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules of competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty [2003] OJ L1/1. This regulation has replaced, as of 1 May 2004, Council Regulation No 17 [1962] OJ 13/204 (Special English Edition 1959–62, p. 87). 2 On the...

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