Enforcement of EU Competition Rules in Estonia: Substantive Convergence and Procedural Divergence
Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, Vol. 7, No. 9, pp. 67-85, 2014
19 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2014
A decade of decentralized enforcement of EU competition rules under the procedural framework of Regulation 1/2003 has produced a diverse enforcement record that varies among Member States. While the numbers of notified investigations and infringement decisions based on Articles 101 & 102 TFEU are impressive, some EU jurisdictions have demonstrated an only negligible participation in the direct enforcement of EU competition rules. After joining the EU in 2004, Estonia has harmonized its competition legislation with EU standards and pursued active criminal enforcement of antitrust rules. At the same time, EU competition rules are absent from the enforcement practice of the Estonian competition authority and national courts. The present paper provides an overview of the specifics of the Estonian legal system including its substantive, procedural and institutional components. This overview demonstrates how the diversity and complexity of the procedural framework for the enforcement of competition rules (administrative, misdemeanour and criminal proceedings) effectively prevented EU competition rules from penetrating the national legal system.
Keywords: antitrust enforcement; Estonia; Estonian Competition Authority; EU competition rules; national courts; Regulation 1/2003
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