The Judicial Review of the European Union Industrial Cartels
German Journal of European Legal Studies/Zeitschrift für Europarechtliche Studien 4/2015
35 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2014 Last revised: 3 Nov 2015
Date Written: 2015
The aim of this article is to explore the most recent appeals concerning illegal cartels under Article 101 TFEU by revealing the relevant principles underpinning both the substantive and the procedural review of price-fixing agreements. Arguments advancing a perceived ‘criminalisation’ of the EU fines on cartels coupled with the success rate of appeals on the basis of an erroneous calculation of the level of fines, as well as the overall length of cartel proceedings, raise other pertinent issues regarding the need for institutional reform, in particular a specialised EU Competition Tribunal. The present contribution seeks to highlight several hurdles in appeals as reflected by the interpretation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular the right to good administration of justice before an independent and impartial tribunal, the right to a fair presentation of evidence through the sending of a Statement of Objections (SO), the right to have access to the file, the right to a reasoned decision and within a reasonable time, and the proportionality of the administrative fine. Therefore, such rights of defence as are enjoyed by corporations and mirrored by the human rights catalogue enshrined in the EU Charter make them even more contestable before the EU Courts.
Keywords: EU Cartels, Article 101 TFEU, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 6 ECHR, Competition Law
JEL Classification: D00, D21, D43, K12, K21, L12, L13, L41, L42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation