Pietro Manzini

Antitrust Fines and Fundamental Rights

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Sanctions; EU Competition; Fundamental Rights; Individual Responsibility; Double Jeopardy; Proportionality.

After the attribution of legal force to the EU Charter of fundamental rights, many antitrust cases in Luxembourg are based on the alleged violation of fundamental rights. The rights concerned can be classified into groups: rights of defence in administrative procedures before the Commission and fundamental rights linked to the definition and application of the fine. The article deals with the latter group; in particular the protection of three categories of fundamental rights is analysed: the respect o the presumption of innocence and personal responsibility in the case of attribution of liability within companies belonging to a corporate group; the application of the prohibition of double jeopardy in case of multiple actions brought against European companies, and the application of the proportionality principle in the setting of the amount of fines imposed because of the infringement. The case law shows that, while the main lines of reasoning in the application of antitrust law are confirmed by the EU courts, many significant adjustments are elaborated or are in the course of being developed, in order to make the subject matter more coherent with fundamental rights.

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