The Jurisdictional Reach of EU Anti-Cartel Rules: Unmuddling the Limits

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Series Details Volume 8, Number 2, Pages 365-382
Publication Date May 2012
ISSN 1744-1056
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"In a growing number of cartel matters, defence lawyers raise the extra-territorial reach of EU anti-cartel rules as a bar against prosecution by the European Commission (EC). This is not coincidental. The globalisation of production and supply has been met with a concomitant “globalisation” of cartel conduct: illicit contacts and meetings among competing suppliers—sometimes with limited to no EU presence—take place at locations distant from the EU, but may nevertheless affect the prices at which European consumers purchase goods and services."

"The present article contributes to this debate in the following way. As a starting point, it takes a look at what Article 101 TFEU reveals about its territorial application. Next, it analyses the theories underpinning the jurisdictional reach of EU competition rules, as established by the European Courts; namely, the “economic entity”, “implementation” and “effects” doctrines. It then goes on to examine the recent Gas Insulated Switchgear, Candle Waxes and Liquid Crystal Displays decisions, with the aim of identifying the legal bases invoked by the EC to assert jurisdiction over cartel conduct arising—partly or entirely—outside the EU territory. In conclusion, the article provides a critical assessment of the EC’s approach in asserting extra-territorial jurisdiction in cartel cases."

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