What Do Limitation Periods for Sanctions in Antitrust Matters Really Limit?
July 1, 2012
Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, Vol. 2012, 5(7)
Limitation periods represent a legal safeguard for a person who has once broken the law in order not to be put at risk of sanctions and other legal liabilities for an indefinite amount of time. By contrast, public interest can sometimes require that a person who has committed a serious breach of law cannot benefit from limitation periods and that it is necessary to declare that the law had indeed been infringed and that legal liability shall be expected irrespective of the passage of time.
This article aims to answer the question whether limitation periods for sanctions attached to competition restricting practices by Slovak competition law also limit the powers of its competition authority to declare the illegality of illicit behaviour or to prohibit it. Although this question can arise, and has done so already, as a defence in antitrust proceedings, as well as the fact that an answer to this question can potentially, as well as actually, affect rights of undertakings which have broken competition rules, Slovak jurisprudence cannot be seen as explicit in answering this question.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: competition law, antitrust procedure, sanctions, administrative responsibility, Slovakia, EU law, limitation period, criminal law, private enforcement, legal certainty, safeguards, powers of competition authority, European Commission
JEL Classification: K21
Date posted: July 10, 2013