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Breaking the EU Antitrust Enforcement Deadlock: Re-Empowering the Courts?

Damien M.B. Gérard, European Law Review, August 2011

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Over the past decade, the dramatic rise in the amount of fines combined with the increased reliance on negotiated procedures and the modernisation of substantive principles have profoundly modified the EU antitrust enforcement landscape and, indeed, its inner rationality. This article argues that the sustainability of that transformation depends on a rebalancing of the enforcement system by expanding the jurisdiction of the EU Courts in reviewing appeals brought against infringement decisions, so as to carve out a space guaranteeing private parties fair dialectic exchanges over the substance of cases, on an equal footing with the Commission. In particular, it proposes to free the EU Courts from the limits of their annulment jurisdiction by endowing them with unlimited jurisdiction to review the merits of antitrust decisions imposing fines and, consequently, to empower them to operate in that context as courts of full appellate jurisdiction.

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