The Wolfe Must Die in His Own Skin: A Case for Custodial Sentences Against Individuals in Cartel Cases in the EU
11 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 7, 2014
The imposition of criminal sanctions against individuals who take part in cartels has been in the focus of much discussion in the European Union ('EU' or 'the Union') . Although there seems to be widespread consensus that the current penalties imposed at EU level are insufficient to effectively deter cartels both as first-time offenses and as recidivisms, the question of whether criminal sanctions involving imprisonment are the next logical step in EU antitrust enforcement is still very much a contentious one .
In this paper, we will argue that custodial sentences are indeed a necessity for the abatement of cartel activity in the EU. Due to reasons of space, the scope of the present work will be limited to the defense of prison sentences as both the most appropriate punishment for and the most effective deterrent against cartel activity. Criminal fines will hence not be discussed. Likewise, despite its pertinence, the issue of whether criminalization should be carried out at the level of EU institutions or through the harmonization of the criminal laws of the Member States shall not be delved into, except to show that these questions do not represent a serious obstacle in the setting up of a common criminal framework for cartel persecution across the Union.
Keywords: Antitrust, Cartels, Competition law, Prison sentences, Enforcement of competition law
JEL Classification: K21, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation