In laudable efforts to increase its output, the European Commission has developed three tools—leniency, settlements, and commitments—to help it discover infringements of EU competition law, to help it prove those infringements, and to help it bring cases to a speedy conclusion. Although these tools encourage cooperation and do reduce the resources needed to resolve cases, they also lack coherence and to some extent the Commission has needlessly tied its own hands. In some cases—even where parties are willing to cooperate—the Commission’s own procedures render it incapable of concluding cases quickly. This becomes most evident in cases with an international dimension where regulators in other jurisdictions can wrap up their own investigations of the same issues several years before the Commission.
This article originally appeared in The CPI Antitrust Chronicle.