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Empowering national competition authorities (NCAs)

18-02-2019

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources ...

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources to enforce EU competition rules independently. On 30 May 2018, Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the proposal in trilogue. It increases the independence, resources and powers of NCAs and envisages more harmonisation of the national leniency programmes and reduced burdens on undertakings. Parliament adopted the text on 14 November 2018, the final act was signed on 11 December 2018. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Empowerment of national competition authorities

13-07-2017

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with ...

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with the BR guidelines, there are some weaknesses. These include the limited quantification of costs and benefits, the rather limited range of policy options – considering that option 1 and 2 are identified from the start as being ineffective – and the limited assessment of the options, except for option 3, which appears to have been identified very early in the process as the preferred option. Finally, the IA does not develop any operational objectives for the preferred option. Consequently, the proposed core indicators relate to the specific objectives, which, in this case, are rather general. This might imply some challenges for the monitoring, measuring and evaluation of the implementation of the provisions in the future.

EU and US competition policies: Similar objectives, different approaches

27-03-2014

Both the EU and the US have well-developed competition policies that aim to prevent and penalise anticompetitive behaviour. Although the EU and US systems share similar aims, there are a number of significant differences. The EU has an administrative system for antitrust enforcement, in which companies are penalised with fines. In contrast, US antitrust enforcement is based on criminal law, with financial and custodial penalties against individuals.

Both the EU and the US have well-developed competition policies that aim to prevent and penalise anticompetitive behaviour. Although the EU and US systems share similar aims, there are a number of significant differences. The EU has an administrative system for antitrust enforcement, in which companies are penalised with fines. In contrast, US antitrust enforcement is based on criminal law, with financial and custodial penalties against individuals.

Facilitating damage claims by victims of anti-competitive practices

09-09-2013

Anti-competitive practices cause substantial harm to the EU's economy, but currently only some Member States provide for victims to sue for damages suffered. Yet, even in these cases, high costs and procedural and legal obstacles may discourage individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises from exercising their rights.

Anti-competitive practices cause substantial harm to the EU's economy, but currently only some Member States provide for victims to sue for damages suffered. Yet, even in these cases, high costs and procedural and legal obstacles may discourage individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises from exercising their rights.

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