Managing decentralized antitrust enforcement: Toshiba

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Series Details Volume 51, Number 1, Pages 261-279
Publication Date February 2014
ISSN 0165-0750
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Case C-17/10, Toshiba Corp and others v. Utad pro ochranu hospodarske souteze, Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of Feb 14, 2012, nyr. is presented.

Enforcement of EU competition law is an exercise in controlled decentralization. That is to say, mechanisms have been put in place, most notably in Regulation, to ensure that national competition authorities (NCA) and the Commission apply EU competition law in a way that is coordinated to achieve the most effective enforcement possible while guaranteeing the maximum legal certainty for undertakings.

Having said that, the decentralization brought about by Regulation 1 rests, to a significant degree, on trust, self-control and cooperation by NCAs; each of which retains its independence. Such values may risk displacing the rule of law. The judgment under review is a story of cooperation between the Commission and an NCA, and raises a number of issues that may require further reflection, if not legislative action.

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