Presumptions in EU Competition Law

24 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2017 Last revised: 9 Nov 2017

See all articles by Cyril Ritter

Cyril Ritter

European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition

Date Written: July 10, 2017


A presumption is usually defined as using a known fact to infer another fact. However, presumptions could be defined more broadly, as including several types of logical leaps, shortcuts, automatisms, burden-shifting mechanisms and predispositions. Using more than 30 such "presumptions" as examples, this paper tries to:

(a) provide a description and a classification of presumptions in EU competition law;

(b) explore to what extent these presumptions are compatible with fundamental rights and general principles of EU law; and

(c) explain the rationales for presumptions in EU competition law.

Keywords: antitrust, antitrust law, competition, competition law, EU law, EU competition law, presumptions, burden of proof

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Ritter, Cyril, Presumptions in EU Competition Law (July 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Cyril Ritter (Contact Author)

European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition ( email )

Rue de la Loi 200
Brussels, B-1049

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