Keywords: EU competition law; judicial review in competition cases
After modernization and the adoption by the European Commission of a more severe fining regime, the enforcement of EU antitrust rules has clearly acquired a quasi criminal nature. Therefore, to ensure compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, the Commission's decisions must be subject to full judicial review. On the other hand, the increasing role of economic assessments in the enforcement of competition rules has raised concerns for the risk of a weakening of judicial control. In this article we argue that a more economic approach does not necessarily entail a less comprehensive judicial review. In order to comply with the ECHR, the margin of appreciation of competition authorities, which is often related by Community courts to complex economic assessments, must be narrowly interpreted and restrained to clearly identifiable sets of circumstances.